Caltrans continues to improve passenger rail fleet

Caltrans has successfully augmented its passenger rail service in California by placing into service the first of seven new Venture Passenger Rail Car trainsets for daily roundtrip travel between Oakland and Bakersfield.

Caltrans owns the largest state-owned intercity passenger rail fleet in the nation, which it runs on the Pacific Surfliner, Capitol Corridor and San Joaquins services. The San Joaquins feature the new passenger cars, with ADA-accessible aisles, doors, and restrooms. When all passenger cars are on the tracks by 2026, they will represent a $132 million investment in infrastructure spending.

What Caltrans Director Tony Tavares said
“These new rail cars encourage more people to get out of their cars and take the train. That lowers planet-warming pollution, improves air quality, shrinks our collective carbon footprint and further reduces our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.”

Why it matters
Venture passenger rail cars provide a much-needed increase in passenger mobility, especially for those persons using wheelchairs. This improves transportation equity.

Caltrans is spending $132 million to upgrade its passenger rail service – the largest state-owned intercity rail network in America.

The new cars are the first addition to the passenger rail fleet in more than 20 years.

By the numbers
7 — Venture Passenger trainsets, with seven semi-permanently coupled cars each, that will be placed in service on the San Joaquins Line by the end of 2025.

430 — Passengers per trainset that can ride on the San Joaquins line

$132 Million  — Value of Venture passenger rail car purchase

6.2 — Time, in hours, it takes to ride the San Joaquins line from Oakland to Bakersfield – and vice versa.

864,000 — Passengers who rode the San Joaquins line in 2023.