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RT Fact Sheets
Blue Line to CRC
Green Line to the Airport
Light Rail Fact Sheet
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Light Rail Facts

Select this Link to go to an index of all RT downloadable
fact sheets

The Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) light rail
system, which opened March 12, 1987, is an integral
part of the Sacramento regionís transportation infrastructure.
The 37.5-mile line, which links both the eastern and
northeastern suburbs with Downtown and South
Sacramento, carries 55,000 passengers on a typical
weekday. During Fiscal Year 2010, RT light rail vehicles
carried 16.1 million passengers.

Light rail trains traveled 3.4 million passenger miles in Fiscal
Year 2010. RT operates light rail trains seven days a week with
14 trains running at 15-minute intervals during the day, and seven
trains running at 30-minute intervals during the evening and early
weekend mornings. The end-to-end running time on the light rail
Blue Line between Meadowview and Watt/I-80 is 48 minutes.
The Runningtime for the Gold Line between Sacramento Valley
Station and Folsom is 55 minutes. For a color PDF of the new
light rail system please Click Here.

RT operates three and four-car trains during the peak periods and two-car trains during the off-peak hours. Single-car trains provide late evening and Sunday service. The light rail dispatch center is staffed 24 hours a day, with two controllers on duty during weekday peak hours. Approximately 208 RT employees support light rail operations.

Track and Structures                                       Back to top
The light rail system includes 28.92 miles of double-track and 8.5 miles of single-track. Most ties are wood, although concrete ties have been used on all track laid since 1994. There are 55 mainline switches; 26 are spring operated, 29 are power operated and three are manually operated. All 34 yard switches are operated manually.

Power                                                                   Back to top
The overhead contact system (OCS) uses a blend of trolley wire and catenary. Trolley wire, found downtown, is a single electrical contact wire used by both light rail and historic streetcars. Catenary, a more complex OCS that maintains the wire tension necessary for high speeds, is not currently compatible with the historic streetcars.

The light rail system includes 34 electrical substations that provide power to the trains. "Load sharing" between substations exists so that if a substation shuts down, those on either side continue to feed electricity to that section. When a fault occurs, a blue flashing light is activated and the control center is notified. In an emergency, the fire department can cut power to the entire downtown by using any one of 13 control boxes located throughout the area.

Signaling                                                             Back to top
Most private right-of-way, including all single-track sections, includes three-aspect (red, yellow, green) automatic block signaling. Light rail operators use "line of sight" when operating on city streets and in low speed double track sections. Most grade crossings are protected by standard railroad crossing gates. Most signal and grade crossing cases display blue flashing lights if they lose power, although backup battery power ensures they will continue to function. Train-to-Wayside Communication (TWC) is used to route trains to their ultimate destination at the 18th Street, Meadowview, Sunrise, Hazel and Folsom interlockings.

Stations                                                               Back to top
There are 48 passenger-boarding stations in the system. All stations, except the 12th & I inbound station, have Senior/Disabled platforms accessed by ramps or lifts. 36 stations offer bus transfer services and 12 stations have free park-and-ride lots with 7,482 parking spaces. Each station is equipped with at least one fare vending machine. All stations have telephones and most have lighted shelters.

Light Rail Facilities                                           Back to top
RTís light rail facilities occupy a 12-acre site at 2700 Academy Way. They include administrative offices, two facilities for servicing of up to 97 light rail vehicles, two substations and parking.

Fares                                                                    Back to top
RT uses a proof-of-payment fare structure throughout the system, and Transit Officers conduct random train and station checks to verify fare payment. Passengers found without proof of fare payment are issued a citation, which carries a fine between $56 and $250.

Police Services                                                               Back to top
RTís Police Services includes full-time contracted Sacramento police officers and county sheriffís deputies, and RT Transit Officers. RT also contracts with a private security firm to monitor activities at light rail park-and-ride stations and on trains operating at night.

Future Extensions                                             Back to top
The Blue Line to Cosumnes River College, also known as South Line phase 2, project which is the highest priority transit project in the region, will extend RT's South Corridor light rail service from the existing terminus at Meadowview Road to Cosumnes River College. The 4.2-mile extension will include four new stations.


Vehicle Specifications                         Back to top

Light Rail Vehicles

Siemens Transportation Systems Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF)

 Single-articulated, Bi-directional

 Single-articulated, Bi-directional


High floor

High floor

Doors Bifold Sliding

Number in fleet 




79' 6"



8' 9"

8' 9"

Height over roof equipment 

12' 5"

12' 6"

Passenger Load

64 seated, 80 standing: 144 total

64 seated, 177 standing: 241 total

Empty Weight 

38.9 tons

47 tons

Braking system 

Dynamic/Friction/Magnetic Track

Dynamic/ Friction/ Magnetic Track/Regenerative

Friction Braking system Single electronic controller Independent, for each truck, microprocessor controlled with active center truck braking

Maximum speed 

55 mph

55 mph

Maximum acceleration 

2.5 mph per second

3.0 mph per second

Maximum deceleration 

3.0 mph per second

3.0 mph per second

Emergency deceleration 

6.0 mph per second

6.0 mph per second

Delivered 1987/1991 2002-2003

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  Sacramento Regional Transit District