Capitol Corridor passenger trains just got the biggest safety upgrade in a century!

Author McClatchy

Two years ago an Amtrak Capitol Corridor passenger train outside Sacramento jolted so violently that passengers thought it would derail.

The engineer had mistakenly sped at double the limit through a track crossover. Coffees, laptops and some bodies went flying. Two people were slightly injured. Ultimately, two train operators were disciplined. But the human-error incident left several passengers saying they wondered if rail officials were really focused on safety.

Now, corridor train officials say, an incident like that is unlikely to happen again.

As of this fall, all trains on the 170-mile Capitol Corridor system have been equipped with a computer system that will take control of the train from the engineer if the engineer fails to heed speed or other warnings.

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County hires consultant to complete river trail feasibility plan

Sonoma County Supervisors have hired a Marin County-based outdoor recreational trail consultant to find the most feasible route for a Russian River bike path along the river from Forestville to Jenner.

Public outreach seeking feedback on the river trail is now tentatively set to start next month, but no dates or meeting places have been set.

“We’re probably looking at January or February” for public outreach, said Sonoma County Regional Parks Planner Ken Tam. “Once we’ve narrowed down the dates, they’ll be published on the website” for Regional Parks (, said Tam.

The nearly 20-mile-long Lower River Trail would run from the intersection of Mirabel and River Road in Forestville to Highway 1 in Jenner. Ideally the entire trail will be a Class 1 bike and pedestrian path, meaning it would be paved and separate from motor vehicle traffic, say trail planners.

But finding room and right-of-way through the lower river’s often narrow roads and private property will be a challenge.

“This may prove difficult to achieve,” according to the study proposal from Alta + Planning and Design, the consultant contracted to prepare the study.

In October, County Supervisors approved a $664,000 contract agreement with Alta to prepare the study and recommend a preferred trail alignment plus alternatives. The Alta study will include anticipated development costs such as design, right-of-way acquisition and construction.

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Folding bikes are a convenient, ecologically appropriate way to travel

Bike Partners is an EcoRing Green Business Partner.  Folding bikes are a convenient, ecologically appropriate way to travel.  Combined with rail transit they can open up new, beautiful and interesting destinations without the anchor of an automobile to drag around.

Bike Partners is located a short walk from the Santa Rosa Downtown SMART rail station in Railroad Square.

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The year old SMART train is thriving.

The SMART train has been operating in Marin and Sonoma counties for over a year, with 10 stations along the 43 miles of track. Strong support from the community has created a successful, new transit system for the North Bay, with more improvements yet to come. The extension to Larkspur is on schedule to be completed by the end of 2019 and the funding for the Windsor extension has been approved.

What do the facts and figures look like for SMART’s first year of service? Read about SMART’s ridership in this Press Democrat article

San Rafael transit hub work starts for SMART Larkspur extension

Author -Adrian Rodriguez

Work is underway at the San Rafael transit center to lay the foundation for the $55.4 million Larkspur extension of the SMART train. Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit trains are set to pass through downtown San Rafael, then the Bettini Transit Center and on to the Larkspur Ferry Terminal by the end of next year. Construction will include a temporary boarding platform near Platform C at Second Street. Crosswalks will be closed. Transit riders will use Second and Third streets to reach other platforms. Work is planned from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is expected to last four to five weeks, with most work occurring over the weekends.

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