Preparations for Sacramento's New Intermodal Facility Prove Fatal

Sacramento's downtown train station recently relocated its tracks to accommodate new transit oriented development - but the long, winding walk from depot to platform has presented problems for passengers, including a fatal heart attack on day one.

Tony Bizjak explains why what used to be a simple walk across one or two train tracks and one light rail track from depot and bus docks to Amtrak Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin and long-distance trains to Chicago and Seattle is now a five-minute, winding walk including a new tunnel with ramps.

"The city and Union Pacific say they built the new tracks, tunnels and platforms to reduce freight and passenger train congestion and to open space for development in the largely empty railyard." This first phase of construction of a federally-funded Intermodal facility, and associated mixed-use development, is being called the "Path to Progress" [PDF].

Some infirm passengers said the five-minute walk up and down ramps to the trains was too long. Other passengers complained that the temporary winding path through a construction zone was confusing. Some commuters missed their trains. And one man collapsed of an apparent heart attack" (and died).

Passengers clearly were not happy with the diagonal walk through the vacant railyard (slated for development) and then descending into the tunnel and walking up to the platform.

"This remodel seems to make the process harder with no tangible benefit," said Commuter Zak Frieders, who missed his train the first day when his light-rail train arrived too late.

"It seems like it is all tied up with the politics of the railyard development."

Thanks to David McCoard

Full Story: Train depot scrambles to fix issues on new tracks



Irvin Dawid's picture

Editorial Notebook: New train walkway a 'path to progress'?

The Sacramento Bee's Ginger Rutland captured the experience well of using the new 'Path to Progress' - she assisted her husband - in a wheelchair, and while clearly frustrated with the experience, appeared resigned that this was the new way to access the train platforms. Editorial Notebook: New train walkway a 'path to progress'?

Irvin Dawid's picture

My experience on the Path To Progress/Sac Train station

With the help of the Cap Corridor's wifi and coffee, I penned this letter on my return trip to San Jose on August 21.
Train station's `Path to Progress' comes at a high price.
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."