The best in the West: Gene Skoropowkis's trains

California's Capitol Corridor is described as an exemplary example of a host freight railroad maintaining a good working relationship with its tenant passenger railroad. The commuter service runs on a 170-mile, 16-station corridor between San Jose, Oakland/San Francisco, and Sacramento/Auburn. It is run by the Capitol Corridor Joint Power Authority (CCJPA), comprised of six local transit agencies, with administrative management from a dedicated railroad staff with the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit Authority (BART), and Amtrak management to run the trains. They share tracks with Union Pacific (UP) which controls infrastructure maintenance and dispatching. The partnership is recording successes, such as being Amtrak's third busiest service after the Northeast Corridor and the L.A.-San Diego service, carrying 1.25 million annual riders, with an 85% ontime performance. Success is attributed to the relationship with Union Pacific and Amtrak, involving a tripartite incentive agreement that differentiates the Capitol Corridor from other services where Amtrak and UP are jointly involved. This permits the Capitol Corridor's operators to pay UP greater incentives than under the Amtrak master agreement. Incentives are paid when UP runs trains on time, with a 92% ontime share, but when it fails to meet that goal, the money that would have been paid is plowed back into track improvements. Track-work scheduling has been streamlined so as not to interfere with passenger operations. The State of California is also backing up the arrangement, with some $130 million in infrastructure upgrades since 1995, and $300 million in the pipeline. It also provides an annual operating subsidy for all three operations, of $75 million a year.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 25-27
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01010964
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: UC Berkeley Transportation Library
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 2 2005 7:54AM