Published February 17, 1998
Volume 6, Number 2

ACE to Ride the Rails Starting in May
Sneak Preview of Cars, Locomotive Scheduled in Coming Weeks

ACE Train
The Altamont Commuter Express will stop in Pleasanton at a
platform to be built adjacent to these tracks on Pleasanton Avenue.

By Jay Hipps
Network Editor

Commuters will get an opportunity to view the new Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) trains at three events in the next three weeks, as the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission prepares for a May launch for the service.

"We will be holding these 'sneak preview' days for people to view the equipment, get information, and provide feedback on train schedules, fares, and connections to work places," says Wilma Murray of the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission. 

The special presentations are scheduled on Saturday, February 28 from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. in downtown Tracy at Sixth Street and Central and from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. in Livermore at L Street and the Union Pacific Railroad Crossing. On Tuesday, March 3, the cars may be viewed from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in San Jose at Diridon Station. 

ACE is expected to begin regular service between Stockton and San Jose in May, with two trains making round trip runs each day. Transit times are expected to be roughly an hour and ten minutes between Stockton and Pleasanton and two hours from Stockton to the end of the line in San Jose. Stops are also scheduled in Lathrop, Tracy, Livermore, Fremont, and at the Great America amusement park. 

Neither fares nor schedules have been finalized. However, a draft schedule, which the Rail Commission reports is accurate to within 15 minutes, shows trains arriving in Pleasanton at 5:52 and 7:02 a.m. after leaving Stockton at 4:40 and 5:50 a.m., respectively. Schedules will be finalized by the Rail Commission after hearing comments from the public at the "sneak preview" events.

WHEELS is expected to announce feeder bus service supporting the trains in the Tri-Valley area once the ACE schedule is complete.

Pleasanton Platform to be Built
ACE is planning on building a platform on Pleasanton Avenue, just east of the Alameda County Fairgrounds. The platform, in what is now used as a Park and Ride lot, is considered an interim station to be used during the first three years of start-up service. 

"There will not be a canopy on the passenger platform at this location," says Murray. "If funding is available, we will install a bus-type shelter facility on the platform."

The proposed platform is 12 feet wide and 450 feet long. With a planned construction of asphaltic concrete, it would rise eight inches over the height of the tracks. Wheelchair access would be provided via ramps or a lift.

Following the initial three-year period, the location of a permanent station will be determined, taking into account factors such as parking, noise, and input from the community. The location proposed for the initial three years will also be considered for the construction of a permanent station and platform.

For more information or to make comments on ACE, contact the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission at (209) 468-3025.


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