Opening date of Elk Grove commuter rail station derailed, not scheduled until 2026 at the earliest

Site of Elk Grove's proposed commuter rail station on Dwight Road RV storage lot as seen from the Laguna Boulevard railroad overpass. | 


Riders hoping to utilize Elk Grove's highly anticipated commuter rail station must wait longer to see service.

The opening of the proposed commuter rail station on Dwight Road on the city's westside is delayed. Construction of a parking facility and passenger platform on the Union Pacific Sacramento subdivision rail was expected to happen early next year. 

The commuter train system, which would connect to the popular Altamont Commuter Express (ACE), would include stops in Lodi, Sacramento, and is managed by the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority and the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission. The groups paid for the environmental impact report approved in April 2022.

During an August 2021 Zoom public workshop, project managers said site improvements could start one year from then. At that meeting, planners said the unstaffed station would open in 2024 or 2025.

However, as motorists traveling westbound Laguna Boulevard will attest when crossing the Union Pacific overpass, there is no construction activity. The proposed parking facility continues to be an RV storage site, and there are no modifications near the track for a passenger platform.

The station, located in Elk Grove City Council District 1, has been greeted with enthusiasm, especially by the district city council member, Darren Suen. The longest-tenured city council member said it is a boon for Elk Grove, Silicon Valley, and San Jose, the ACE line's terminus.   

"It will enable us to attract more jobs from the Silicon Valley," Suen stated. The Dwight Road station is within walking distance of Apple Computers Laguna Boulevard operations.   

So, what has caused the delay?

According to David Lipari, SJRRC's Deputy Director of Passenger Experience and Communications, higher construction costs are the primary reason. He also cited coordination efforts with Union Pacific, utilities, and unspecified stakeholders, saying they created "bottlenecks" to progress. 

Despite the delay, Lipari said the Elk Grove station's final design will be completed a year from now.  

In an email, Lipari said, "For a program that spans 16 stations and several miles of trackwork, the level of coordination work becomes a bottleneck for a select few reviewers at these entities. Additionally, construction cost escalation has produced schedule delays."

Lipari did not say the current costs or the sources of additional funds to address shortages. In 2021, $1.3 billion of the funding came from state and federal sources. 

Construction is scheduled to start in early 2025. The station could be open for operation in late 2026.

"The Elk Grove Station is an integral part of the Valley Rail Program. The partnership between SJRRC and the city of Elk Grove has been important to ensure that the project fits the vision of the community," Lipari said. "SJRRC is pressing forward to finalize the design and looks to celebrate the start of construction in 2025."

The city of Elk Grove was contacted for comment on this story and was directed to the SJRRC. Elk Grove News will continue to monitor the project for progress. 

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