Forty trains a day through Altamont at up to 125 mph? It could happen, weary drivers.

The Altamont Commuter Express train travels through the Altamont Pass off Altamont Pass Road, Calif., on Thursday, June 1, 2017.

Author  John Holland

Passenger rail service could increase 10-fold over Altamont Pass – enticing news for people who drive it daily from the Modesto area.

Rail planners are seeking funding for a 3.5-mile tunnel at the pass and other upgrades that would reduce travel times to Bay Area jobs. They envision 30 daily round trips at up to 125 miles per hour as soon as 2026, and 40 trips at some later date.

The improvements would benefit the Altamont Corridor Express, which runs four round trips each weekday between Stockton and San Jose and will launch Saturday service Sept. 7. ACE already has funding for branches to Stanislaus, Merced and Sacramento counties in the next few years.

The tunnel also would serve the proposed Valley Link rail system between the Dublin BART station and Stockton. It would share three stations with ACE and have other stations to itself in Livermore, Mountain House, Tracy and Lathrop.

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