Students hoping to escape the “Stanford bubble” with a weekend trip to the north may have to adjust their travel plans slightly, as the Caltrain will soon suspend its weekend service to and from San Francisco.
The suspension will start on Oct. 6 and run through late spring 2019, providing time for construction crews to renovate parts of the commuter rail line.
The trip won’t be impossible, though. Instead of riding all the way to the city, Stanford commuters can instead travel from Palo Alto to Bayshore, 14 stops away, where the weekend train will terminate. From there, a free bus service is set to run to 22nd Street station and San Francisco station.
These buses will run on a different schedule than the standard weekend one, so commuters may need to budget more time to reach the Golden Gate City.
Otherwise, commuters can simply stop at Millbrae station and take the BART, another regional rail, into San Francisco. Students flying home from San Francisco International Airport for Thanksgiving or winter break may also take this route.
This announcement comes as part of Caltrain’s multi-billion-dollar plan to replace 75 percent of its old diesel-powered trains with electric engines, the end goal being a faster, greener service between San Francisco and San Jose.
“This closure is [also] necessary to complete the San Francisco Tunnel Work, which will pave the way for Caltrain Electrification,” the Caltrain website states.
There are four train tunnels in San Francisco, which will be outfitted with systems necessary to power the new electric trains.
Regular weekend service will be temporarily restored to Caltrain on Jan. 5 and 6 to accommodate football fans traveling to the NCAA college playoff national championship at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The suspension will then resume until late spring 2019.
In addition to electrification, a planned Caltrain Modernization Program (CalMod) will upgrade the trains, with the aim of improving their performance, passenger capacity and general reliability for the Bay Area community.
Contact Yasmin Samrai at ysamrai ‘at’ stanford.edu.