Valley Rail implements two new daily round-trips for the Amtrak San Joaquins service to better connect San Joaquin Valley travelers with the Sacramento Area, as well as an extension of Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) between Sacramento and Merced, which builds upon ACE funding from Senate Bill (SB) 132. In addition, Valley Rail will convert the entire fleet including the thruway bus network to renewable diesel fuel, providing greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits across the entire existing (449 track miles) and proposed expanded (119 track miles) San Joaquins and ACE services.



Project/Service Status More Information
Lathrop-Ceres Extension
EIR Completed/Final Design View Final EIR
Sacramento Extension
(ACE & San Joaquins)
EIR Completed/Final Design See EIR
Ceres-Merced Extension
Draft EIR Released for Public Review Read More
Stockton Diamond Grade Separation
(ACE & San Joaquins)
EIR Process Underway / NOP Project Website
Madera Station Relocation
(San Joaquins)
Environmental Completed/Final Design Read More
Oakley Station
(San Joaquins)
Environmental Completed/Final Design See Below
Elk Grove Station
(ACE & San Joaquins)
NOP / Initial Study Project Website

Valley Rail Sacramento Extension Project

As a part of the Valley Rail Program and to enhance commuter and intercity rail service and to promote greater transit connectivity between the Sacramento region, the San Joaquin Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area, SJRRC and SJJPA are jointly proposing to implement the “Valley Rail Sacramento Extension Project” which proposes new and increased ACE and San Joaquins passenger rail service with five new stations between Stockton and Sacramento.

SJRRC, acting as lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), has prepared the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Valley Rail Sacramento Extension Project. The Final EIR addresses comments submitted to SJRRC during public review of the Draft EIR (March 30, 2020 through June 5, 2020). Individual comments and responses are included in Appendix I of the Final EIR. The Final EIR (including all appendices) is available by clicking the button below.

During review of the Draft EIR, SJRRC received numerous comments concerning the viability of the proposed North Elk Grove Station and the proposed Natomas Maintenance Facility. Therefore, these potential project improvements are no longer under consideration for implementation.

On October 2, 2020, the Final EIR for the Valley Rail Sacramento Extension was approved and adopted by the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission. Next step for the Sacramento Extension will be detailed design followed by construction starting in 2021.

New Madera and Oakley Station

In addition to the projects in the Valley Rail Program associated with new service north and south of Stockton, the Program also includes funding to relocate the San Joaquins Madera Station and to build a new San Joaquins station in Oakley, California. $26 million in funding was provided to relocate the San Joaquins Madera Station. In May 2019, the SJJPA Board approved a contract for the Madera Station Relocation Project, and the environmental phase is expected to begin in Fall 2019. The project will evaluate project alternatives to construct a new station at Avenue 12 and will be designed to accommodate future high-speed rail. For more information about the Madera Station Relocation Project, click here. The new Oakley Station will complement the significant work that the city of Oakley has been performing over the past several years to revitalize its downtown. The Valley Rail Program provides the funding the design and construction of the platform, while the city of Oakley will fund and construct the parking facilities. The project was environmentally cleared in June 2018. The project is slated to begin final design in the summer of 2020, with construction slated for 2021.

Valley Rail Service Plan

Valley Rail Mini Map 0819 Copy FR7

Valley Rail: March 2019 Update

Click to view PDF presentation (updated March 2019)

Altamont corridor vision

Altamont Corridor Vision

Click to visit the Altamont Corridor Vision Page

Stockton Diamond

Stockton Diamond Project

Click to visit the Stockton Diamond Grade Separation Project Page


Valley Rail improves geographic equity by connecting key locations in the Central Valley including Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, and Fresno Counties to each other and beyond to the Bay Area and the greater California rail network via three future high-speed rail (HSR) connections in Merced and San Jose. This transformative, megaregional project helps further the State’s vision for an integrated rail network and provides direct mobility and air quality benefits to citizens in nine counties, including over 30% of the disadvantaged communities in California.  SJJPA SJRRC TIRCP Grant Announcement Press Release

Based on environmental clearance and funding, the Valley Rail Program consists of two segments one South and one North of Stockton. Each segment includes several projects each with individual costs and schedules.

The Northern segment extends ACE service from Stockton to Natomas and includes additional San Joaquins service.  The Northern segment does not follow the current San Joaquins rail alignment but provides new ACE and San Joaquins service on a new rail alignment closer to Interstate 5. After the environmental phase is completed, final design will commence for the selected project alternative.

The Southern segment extends ACE service to Ceres/Merced. The Valley Rail South extension from Lathrop to Ceres has already completed the environmental documentation phase. Click here to view the Final Environment Impact Report for the ACE Lathrop-Ceres Extension Project. The ACE Lathrop-Ceres Extension Project is in the final engineering phase. The ACE Ceres-Merced Extension Project is being environmentally cleared under its own process. On Thursday, May 28, 2020, SJRRC released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an EIR for the ACE Ceres-Merced Extension Project. The NOP can be downloaded here.

Current contract work includes engineering and property assessments for different station and track work locations at Ceres, Modesto, Manteca, Lathrop, Stockton, Lodi, Elk Grove, Midtown Sacramento, and Natomas. Additional contracts will be awarded in the future for stations and associated track work.

In addition to the projects in the Valley Rail Program associated with new service north and south of Stockton, $26 million in funding was also provided to relocate the San Joaquins Madera Station. In May 2019, the SJJPA Board approved a contract for the Madera Station Relocation Project, and the environmental phase is expected to begin in Fall 2019. The project will evaluate project alternatives to construct a new station at Avenue 12 and will be designed to accommodate  future high-speed rail. For more information about the Madera Station Relocation Project, click here.


Valley Rail Latest News

Project Highlights



New Stations

dollar sign symbol


New Daily Round Trips



Of Disadvantaged Communities in California Served

carbon dioxide


Million Metric Tons of CO2 GHG Reduction by 2027


Improve Public Health and Reduce Fatalities/Injuries


New Trainsets for San Joaquins and ACE

Frequently Asked Questions

The first Valley Rail train(s) are anticipated to operate in Fiscal Year 2021/2022.

The Valley Rail Program is funded to make improvements on both Union Pacific Railroad and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks.

The Valley Rail Program is funded to build up to 16 stations.

The Valley Rail Program is funded through a combination State, Federal, and Local funding sources. State funding for the Program includes: Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP), Senate Bill (SB) 132 funding for the ACE Extension to Ceres/Merced, State Rail Assistance (SRA) Program, and Proposition 1A. Federal funding includes: Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program, FTA 5307 Funds, and 2016 Earmark Repurposing. Local funding includes: San Joaquin County Measure K Sales Tax and Stanislaus County Local Transportation Fund (LTF). Most of the Valley Rail capital costs have been funded through the $500.5 million SJJPA/SJRRC April 2018 TIRCP grant, and the $400 million provided to SJRRC from SB 132 in 2017.

ACEforward is a program that seeks to improve and expand service for ACE®. Valley Rail is a joint program that includes improvements and expansions of both ACE and Amtrak San Joaquins that is focused on improvements between Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley.

Valley Rail is anticipated to be completed by the end of Fiscal Year 2026/2027.

Valley Rail is anticipated to reduce GHG Emission of 5.2 MMT of CO2 by 2025. Additionally, the Valley Rail Program converts Amtrak San Joaquins and ACE service to renewable fuel which will reduce 1.9 MMT of CO2. Valley Rail’s increased rail ridership is anticipated to reduce 88.4 million vehicle miles traveled by 2025.

Valley Rail extends one ACE round trip to/from Sacramento and one round-trip to Ceres/Merced which expands the markets served by direct ACE service between the Central Valley and the Bay Area. In addition, Valley Rail provides three ACE round trips from Ceres to Sacramento (Natomas) which will connect to ACE trains traveling to the Bay Area by using the North Lathrop Transfer Station. Valley Rail also provides additional coaches and new, more powerful, and more environmentally locomotives for ACE trains which increase the capacity to move passengers on ACE to the Bay Area and between the Tri-Valley and Silicon Valley. By expanding ACE markets, Valley Rail is helping to increase the need for further improving service between the Central Valley and Bay Area via the Altamont Corridor.

Valley Rail will provide shuttle service to/from Sacramento International Airport via the Natomas Station. California High Speed Rail service will connect to Valley Rail in Merced. Valley Rail will link to Sacramento RT at City College, Midtown, and Old North Sacramento Stations as well as Sacramento Valley Station. Valley Link Service will connect to the Valley Rail service (initially at the North Lathrop Transfer Station). Valley Rail ACE service connects to the Capitol Corridor (sharing Fremont, Great America, Santa Clara, and San Jose stations), and Caltrain (and ultimately high-speed rail) at San Jose. ACE links to VTA’s light rail services and buses at Great America, and San Jose stations and VTA buses at Santa Clara. ACE has numerous free shuttles (provided by VTA) at Great America to take commuters to their offices, and one at Pleasanton to serve the Hacienda Business Park. ACE provides an express shuttle bus link to BART at its Pleasanton Station.

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