Light Rail Modernization Project

July 17, 2020 General

SacRT is moving forward with plans to improve its light rail service to Folsom along the “Gold Line” (Highway 50 corridor). The improvements would allow light rail trains to operate every 15 minutes, between the Sunrise Station and end of the line at the Historic Folsom Station, rather than the existing 30 minutes. The 15-minute service is currently impeded because only a single track serves between the Hazel Station and the Historic Folsom Station. As a result, eastbound light rail trains traveling from downtown Sacramento to Historic Folsom, and westbound trains traveling from historic Folsom to downtown Sacramento must use the same track.

Installing a second track, or a “passing track,” provides SacRT with the opportunity to modernize its light rail system and increase service and reliability to Folsom – the second track will enable light rail trains to operate eastbound and westbound between the Sunrise and Historic Folsom stations with little or no delay. In addition, the Glenn/Robert G Holderness and Hazel stations will be re-constructed with lower-floor platforms to accommodate SacRT’s new low-floor vehicle fleet.

SacRT was awarded $150 million in funding specifically for the Gold Line tomodernize the light rail fleet, including the purchase of 20 new low-floor light rail trains, low-floor stations, and double-tracking to Folsom to provide 15 minute service that will provide better accessibility for passengers with disabilities, bicycles, and strollers, and help reduce traffic congestion on the busy Highway 50 corridor. In addition, it will save SacRT money in high maintenance and repair costs that are associated with keeping light rail cars in service past their 30-year useful life.

On April 15, 2020, SacRT signed the notice to proceed to purchase the first 20 new low-floor light rail vehicles from Siemens Mobility, Inc.

Read the news release:

On April 22, 2020, SacRT was awarded an additional state grant for $23 million to purchase additional light rail vehicles. Read the news release:

The Light Rail Modernization Project consists of three project components:

  • New low-floor light rail vehicles
  • Low-floor station conversions
  • Major Facility Improvements (including):
    • Signal and track work to allow 15-minute light rail service to Historic Folsom
    • Watt I-80 light rail station improvements
    • Sacramento Valley loop

Double tracking: In order to increase the frequency of light rail service to Folsom, a second track must be added at two locations. The first location extends from Market Place Lane to Aerojet Road in the City of Rancho Cordova.

Rancho Cordova Light Rail


The second location extends from Parkshore Drive to Bidwell Street in the City of Folsom.

Folsom Light Rail

Environmental study is complete and SacRT is waiting on the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for approval. Final design will commence once environmental is cleared.

Construction is expected to take approximately two years with start of service by late 2023. Upon project completion, trains will arrive in, and depart from, downtown Folsom every 15 minutes.

Low-floor light rail vehicles: The majority of SacRT’s existing light rail vehicles have reached their useful mid-life overhaul. SacRT executed the contract to purchase the first 20 new low floor light rail vehicles from Siemens Mobility, Inc. The new low-floor vehicles will increase the capacity for passengers with disabilities and increase overall operational flexibility. The new low-floor vehicles will have low level boarding at every doorway, a spacious seating design, and large windows for better light and views. They will feature improved accessibility with wider aisles, built-in storage space for luggage and areas for bicycles. The first low-floor vehicles are scheduled to be delivered to SacRT by Spring 2023. However, the new low-floor vehicles are incompatible with existing light rail stations, with the exception of the Green Line to the River District and the Blue Line to Cosumnes River College light rail stations; therefore, low-floor station conversion construction needs to take place.

Low-floor light rail station conversions: To facilitate riders access to the new low-floor vehicles the station platforms are required to be at least eight inches above the top of rail. This allows the ramp to deploy from the vehicle to the station platform with the proper slope for passengers to board.  The majority of stations (48 of 53) serving the light rail system do not have platforms that meet the eight-inch height requirement and will need to be raised. Stations constructed after 2006 were designed to function with low-floor vehicles and will not require modification. To accommodate available funding, SacRT will upgrade the platform conversion in two phases. In the first phase, a portion of the station will be upgraded to allow for a two-car train by  pouring concrete to raise the platform eight inches above the top of rail. In the second phase, the entire remaining platform will be raised by pouring concrete around the Phase one platforms. The construction is expected to be completed by spring 2023.

Major facility improvements: In 1987 SacRT opened an 18.3-mile light rail system that linked northeastern (Interstate 80) and eastern (Highway 50) corridors with downtown Sacramento.  The stations were equipped with mini-high platforms to allow ADA accessibility to the front light rail vehicle only.  Currently, SacRT operates on over 43-miles of track and provides service to more than 50 stations.  Many of the original stations and facilities are still in service and both the technology and design need modernization. This modernization to major facilities include double-tracking, signal upgrades, station remodeling, and power station replacement, which will improve accessibility and reliability.

For more information about the project email:

Project Documents

Aerial View of Project Location

Environmental Topics – Folsom Rail Modernization Program

General Information Fact Sheet

Glenn Station and Intersection improvements

Project Construction Schematics

Folsom Gold Line Double Track Final IS-MND

Folsom Double Track MMRP Final

Past Meetings

Folsom Gold Line Double Track Final IS-MND and Folsom Double Track MMRP Final was approved at the January 13, 2020 Board meeting.

A public meeting was held to provide members of the public an opportunity to make verbal comments on the Draft IS/MND. The meeting was held during SacRT’s regularly scheduled Board meeting on Monday, December 9, 2019, at the SacRT Auditorium.

A public meeting was held Wednesday, June 20, 2019, at the Rancho Cordova City Hall.

A public meeting was held Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at the Folsom Community Center.