Corcoran Station is the newest station stop on the main line of the San Joaquin (not including the Sacramento branch and the three stations that have moved). The stop first appears in the May 1988 timetable with 69 notes (service coming soon). Going through the timetables it took over a year until the October 1989 timetable for the stop to actually open. The main claim to fame of the town is a huge prison facility. The train station is at the Corcoran Transit Center that also serves two daily Kings Area Rural Transit trips north to Hanford and Corcoran Area Transit, a dial-a-ride on demand service for the town. One of its employees (its dispatcher I believe) staffs the transit center so it is only open when he/she is on duty, Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm, regardless of the train schedule. For example I was taking train #717 north from the station scheduled for 4:47, it was running 25 minutes late because of bad weather on the Grapevine for the thruway connections and was held, we were all kicked out of the building at 5pm.
The tour needs to begin with the platform. It is a low-level side platform along two tracks and extends north from the grade crossing with Whitley Avenue. Along it are benches, modern recently installed signs (ones for the blind as well) and a few information panels one of the smaller, older California-paid for variety and another newer modern 'Thank you for choosing Amtrak one' paid for by the recovery act. The main station feature is along the southern end of the platform that stretches between the platform, the southern side along Whitley Avenue to Otis Avenue parallel to the tracks. This modern depot, the Corcoran Area Transit Center is a single story building opened in 1999 is designed to replicate the previous depot. One wing houses the waiting room and another unconnected wing the chamber of commerce. The side over the platform even has a metal canopy extending from it and serves as the only weather protection for waiting early morning, evening and weekend passengers. Hanging from it is the station's LED sign for train information. Outside on the southern wall of the depot is an art installation, a mural probably of etched ceramic called Life in the Valley and was built as a collaboration of the Art in Corrections program by inmates at the California State Prison-Corcoran. Inside the depot is a glass offed area where the dispatcher sits next to a Quik-Trak machine. There are a few wooden benches for waiting passengers and some historical photographs dot the walls. There is also a cabinet of historical Santa Fe railway memorabilia from Corcoran and an old baggage scale beneath it. North of the depot, between Otis Avenue and extending north of the station platform is the station's seventy-seven space parking lot. This is all on the edge of Corcoran's small downtown.
All photos taken on 27 February, 2012
Last Updated: 23 March, 2011