The City of Sacramento is transforming the downtown’s historic train depot (Sacramento Valley Station) into a transportation hub to serve all modes of travel to and from the station: passenger train, light rail, bus, taxi, rental car and bicycle. The Intermodal project site was once the western terminus for the transcontinental railroad and has been part of major railroad holdings in downtown Sacramento since the mid-19th century.
What is an Intermodal? Once completed, Sacramento’s transit center will join other notable stations around the world. See examples here.
The intermodal is being designed in three phases, with the first phase anticipated to be fully completed in February 2013. The first phase resulted in passenger and freight railroad tracks being moved 500 feet north. The northward move accommodates longer passenger trains, more efficient rail travel, a safer means of crossing the railroad tracks and connects the downtown with the Railyards property, which will be developed. I.A. Sacramento Holdings, LLC, a subsidiary of Inland American Real Estate Trust, Inc. is the City’s partner on Railyards development.
Station facilities provided in Phase 1 include passenger platforms and canopied walkways, electronic information systems, landscaping and other amenities. This $70 million construction project also includes construction of three tunnels under the realigned tracks. The Central Passenger Tunnel and Service Tunnel provide grade-separated access for passengers and service vehicles to the passenger platforms. Serving pedestrians and bicyclists, the West Tunnel connects the Railyards and areas to the north with Old Sacramento and communities to the south of the rail corridor.
Concurrent with Phase 1, the historic depot is undergoing-over $10 million of basic structural upgrades and code improvements, including seismic retrofit work, installation of fire sprinklers and detection systems and accessibility improvements. This work, which is on-going through July of 2013, will ready the building for more extensive refurbishing and rehabilitation in Phase 2.
See a timeline about Intermodal construction and Railyards development here.
See more about phase one, the new passenger rail facilities—the Path to Progress—here.
Phase two—the renovation of the historic depot will start in the summer of 2013.
The opportunity to start phase two was made possible when the City was awarded a $15 million federal TIGER grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grant money will be combined with $15 million in local Measure A funds to cover the $30 million construction cost.
The renovation project will result in the following benefits:
- Create a more hospitable, welcoming, convenient station
- Improve mobility and connections among modes and set the stage for future transportation center expansion, including high speed rail and streetcars
- Improve condition of building spaces, systems and exteriors, extend building life and add energy-saving features
- Create a dynamic urban center and gateway to destinations at or adjacent to the Depot and to the city and Railyards
- Upgrade transportation services at the station and introduce new transportation, retail and commercial uses
- Rehabilitate and restore historic features of the building, which is reknown as a classic American rail station
See the Sacramento Valley Station phase two webpage for details on what will be improved.
- Upgrade building systems, including adding heating and air conditioning, restrooms, elevators, stairs and electrical work
- Improve existing windows, facades and signage; repair drainage, leaks, settlement, pile caps; and rehabilitate historic features
- Increase usable interior area by 40 percent
- Introduce retail use and amenities on the first floor’s West and East Wings and passenger tunnel and opening up the second and third floors
- Improve layout of building and use of spaces, including reducing distance traversed to make transportation connections, adding bicycle facilities and other transportation uses
- Enrich urban public space by rehabilitating the building’s expansive, light-filled spaces and quality finishes, adding outdoor spaces and connections and recreating a “great place”.
Phase three and beyond will complete the transformation into a multimodal regional transportation district. See the big picture here.
Benefits of a complete regional transportation hub
- Enables state-of-the-art operations and expansion for multiple modes in a district within close range of each other
- Improves mobility, transferring and connections for passengers
- Creates a destination facility serving cultural, sports, civic, retail, business and other events
- Offers new transit services and alternative modes of travel to this destination and downtown
- Enhances a historic landmark by continuing its role in transportation and in the community
- Becomes a catalyst for the redevelopment of downtown Railyards
- Relieves traffic congestion on the region’s freeways and City streets, improves air quality and supports sustainable practices
Read the New York Times article about the Railyards and future Intermodal transit facility.
Did you know? At 240 acres, Sacramento’s Railyards site is the largest undeveloped urban infill site in the nation.
Why go Intermodal?
A single, regional transportation hub will:
The Intermodal Alternatives Study (report #13) and related reports are available here.
- Provide better connectivity between passenger rail and transit services to meet user needs at a convenient focal point
- Improve capacity and reliability for both freight and passenger rail service
- Reduce conflicts and widely dispersed operations among transportation modes
- Accommodate future growth for current rail, transit and bus service providers and provide opportunities for potential new operators
- Remove traffic from interstate and highway systems, as well as from City streets
What is an intermodal facility?
A central location that provides user-friendly connections between various modes of transportation, where bicycle, pedestrian, bus, light rail, taxi and train connections can be planned. The new facility may also include airline ticketing, rental car services, charter operations and other travel amenities and services.
Did you know? The Railyards redevelopment area will be a hub for transportation, retail, housing, entertainment, business, culture and commerce.
Sacramento Valley Station Improvements, Phase II & Intermodal Transportation Facility Improvements, Phase III:
Greg Taylor, City of Sacramento Community Development Department
Hinda Chandler, City of Sacramento Department of Public Works
(916) 808-8422, hchandler@CityofSacramento.org