Light Rail Modernization Project

September 2, 2021 General

Public Comment Extended

SacRT has extended public comment on FTA Equivalent (permission to use an alternative design or technology for equal or greater accessibility) for two components related to the manufacturing of the new Siemens S700 low floor light rail vehicles until Wednesday, September 15, 2021. A public hearing on FTA Equivalent was held (virtual and in-person option) on Thursday, August 19, 2021. SacRT is seeking public input on its plans to seek FTA approval on Equivalent Facilitation. A mockup of the new deployable ramp (bridge plate) and detectable warning tile was shared during the hearing and can be seen in the videos below.

Video of the 10 a.m. meeting: https://youtu.be/46iHapsAGc8

Video of the 6 p.m. meeting: https://youtu.be/JFST2M8tyN4

To submit public comment on these items, send an email to pvargas@sacrt.com, by calling 916-321-BUSS (2877), Option 2, then Option 1, or mail to SacRT Accessible Services (please include the text Attention: Public Hearing Comment)at PO Box 2110, Sacramento, CA 95812. The last day to submit public comment is Wednesday, September 15, 2021. Mail in option must be postmarked by Tuesday, September 14, 2021 to be included.

Please contact Priscilla Vargas, SacRT’s ADA Compliance Officer, at 916-321-BUSS (2877), Option 2, then Option 1 for additional information.


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 Gold Line light rail station platforms will be raised to accommodate SacRT’s new low-floor vehicle fleet.

SacRT was awarded $150 million in funding specifically for the Gold Line to modernize the light rail fleet, including the purchase of 20 new low-floor light rail trains,station modifications, and a side track near 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: https://www.sacrt.com/apps/sacrt-purchases-new-low-floor-light-rail-vehicles/

On April 22, 2020, SacRT was awarded an additional state grant for $23 million to purchase additional light rail vehicles. Read the news release: https://www.sacrt.com/apps/additional-funding/

The Light Rail Modernization Project consists of three project components:

  • New low-floor light rail vehicles
  • Station conversions to accomodate the new low-floor vehicles
  • 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

Side track at Folsom: In order to increase the frequency of light rail service to Folsom, a side track must be added at the Glenn station.

 

Folsom Light Rail

The final design is complete and the documents are ready for construction.

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, and areas for bicycles. The first low-floor vehicles are scheduled to be ready for revenue service to SacRT by the Spring 2023.

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: modernization@sacrt.com

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.