Davis is an important station that has received Amtrak service for its entire existence. The only (plus the short lift Spirit of California between 1981 and 1983) train service was provided by the long-distance California Zephyr and Coast Starlight until the Amtrak Capitols (Capitol Corridor) began on December 12, 1991 that now stops at the station 15 times per weekday. The station is located at a rail junction where the SP West Valley Line meets the Martinez Subdivision between Sacramento and Oakland. The station is located in the middle of this wye with tracks on all three sides of the station area. Until April 25, 1982 the Coast Starlight ran via the West Valley Line skipping Sacramento and stopping at a different (and now removed) platform on the western side of the depot. Passengers wanting to travel on the Coast Starlight to and from Sacramento (the California Zephyr was the only train serving the state capitol of California) were provided connecting bus service, operated by the local transit agency Regional Transit (bus service today in Davis and to Sacramento is now provided by Davis's own transit agency Yolobus, formed in 1982).
The depot is a historic concrete and stucco depot completed in 1913 and has a Spanish Roof and numerous arches outside of it providing plenty of eves. It is located at the southwest corner of the wye that the station is located at. Inside is a ticket office staffed all day, every day (4:15am, weekdays, 5:00am Weekends to 12 Midnight) that provides baggage service to the California Zephyr and Coast Starlight, two trains with baggage service that stop at the station. There is also a nice, historic waiting room with wooden benches (and a television). Quick-Trak machines are found both inside the depot and outside within the eves of the depot. The outside machines have been added specifically for train riders bringing bicycles. Davis is a big biking, college town and signs at the depot entrances say "No Bikes Inside." Just outside the depot is a sheltered bike parking area in the style of the depot. In the middle of the wye, in the same style as the depot is the historic Davis Tower.
Amtrak trains stop at one of two tracks that are served by one long-side platform that runs the entire distance of the southern side of the wye (no need to double-spot the Coast Starlight) and an additional boarding area accessed by numerous pedestrian crossings between the two platforms only when trains have come to a complete stop at that platform. Two trains cannot station at once. The platform has no amenities for waiting passengers, just a low blue fence (with plenty of entrances) and a series of lampposts along the side platform that say Track 1 and locations. All signage is a couple of Davis signs on the depot (unique: circular with a black border and black text). In a plaza that runs along most of the platform are a couple long wavy and decorated with mosaics (one spelling Davis) are unique benches. A plaque calls them Valley Seasons Benches, straw bales enclosed in concrete, by Jonathan Hammond & Sayako Dairiki. In the floor of one part of the plaza mosaics dedicate it to A.G. Sam Brinley.
All access to the station is by a single driveway over a single grade crossing over the northwestern track across the wye from the end of 2nd Street, which curves north and becomes H Street. The tracks used by the Capitol Corridor are fully grade-separated through Davis. On the stucco fence in the same orange color as the depot are black letters that say "Davis Transit Depot." This driveway doesn't just lead to a drop off area but also the station's main parking lot (with 135 vehicle parking spaces and 150 bike racks) in the middle of the wye.
Photos 1-3 taken on 13 March, 2010, 4-47 on 12 February, 2014
Last Updated: 9 February, 2014