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Traveling by train in Monterey County, and beyond: new Salinas train station; “future commuter” train trip; more improvements ahead

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Salinas, the Monterey County seat and its largest city, will have a new train station—and more! The Salinas rail extension project is planned to integrate new rail service with existing Amtrak, Monterey-Salinas Transit, and Greyhound service (all bike-and-ride options).

Associated bicycling-related improvements will include bicycle lanes and bike lockers. The Herald reported that the new station is also intended as the main end-point for “the planned Marina-Salinas multimodal bus rapid transit and bicycle corridor connecting the Monterey Peninsula and Salinas through Marina.” (For related info, see

There’s a lot for train travel

enthusiasts to celebrate. Read on.

Photo above provided courtesy of bike-and-ride train traveler Devian Gilbert.

Visit the Transportation Agency for Monterey County website for full details on the Salinas Rail Extension (and other Rail Programs).
For a summary, refer to “Salinas rail extension project set for groundbreaking ceremony” by Jim Johnson in the 8/3/18 Monterey County Herald. Johnson reports that later phases of projected improvements are stops at stations in the North Monterey County communities of Pajaro and Castroville. Those locations would also serve as multimodal transit-connection hubs.

The vision for improvements includes two round-trip Caltrain passenger trains from Salinas to Gilroy, also facilitating travel to San Jose and San Francisco, by 2021.

If you have questions about these rail projects, phone or email TAMC’s Rail Programs contact;; as of Aug 3, 2018, that’s Christina Watson:

August 9: Salinas train station groundbreaking

On Aug 9, 2018 at 11 a.m. there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Salinas station. The Salinas Railroad Museum and historic Harvey House (the “oldest home in Salinas” and first mayor’s house) will be open for tours as well. Refer to the Transportation Agency for Monterey County website for ceremony details:

August 10: Future commuter train tour

On Aug 10, 2018, TAMC and the Salinas Chamber of Commerce are offering, for a twenty dollar ($20) fee, a “future commuter train tour.” The trip starts with a 7:15 a.m. bus ride from the Salinas train station to San Jose’s Diridon Station. The return to Salinas is via Amtrak Coast Starlight along the commuter rail route. Scheduled to end at noon, the outing will finish with a walking tour of the future Salinas station. For more info, and to register, go to the Salinas Chamber website:

Meanwhile…current public transit options

Refer to the bike-and-ride section of the Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide for tips on making use of existing Amtrak, Greyound, and Monterey-Salinas Transit service, including MST transit connections with Caltrain, Amtrak, and more.

Not all rail lines are being converted
to trails, and that’s a very good thing! 
Below, rail lines were converted to a trail; pictured here is a City of Monterey section of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail network.

For tips about Monterey County history, see

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