|Stockton/San Joaquin St, CA||San Joaquin|
|Stockton/Downtown, CA||San Joaquin|
The Modesto Station is located east of the city surrounded by fields on the edge of suburban subdivisions. The BNSF line used by Amtrak through the San Joaquin Valley passes east of this city. Before Amtrak, the main passenger service to the city was provided by the competing SP line that still runs through downtown. The former SP station is no longer in passenger rail service but is now the downtown transit hub and the downtown bus station. Today's current modern station opened in November 1999 and is served by the six daily San Joaquin round-trips with connecting bus service from Modesto Area Express (MAX) route 25 that provides hourly scheduled service into downtown Weekdays and Saturdays. This is except in times of fog when it operates on an call before on-demand basis due to safety (signs say). The area has been served by the San Joaquin since it began in 1974 but originally in Riverbank, CA (conveniently located approximately 10 miles northeast of downtown Modesto) at 3243 Talbot Road, about five miles up tracks north of the current station. Today this area is still along the edge of a freight railroad yard, no permanent depot is visible from Google Maps, but trailers are present so the stop was probably served by a modular station.
Todays station is on the edge of the field and includes a single platform with a tactile along a single track with a line of tall black square topped lampposts but no fencing. Along the platform are some older generation Modesto signs with arrows for the direction of travel to the destinations of Bakersfield/LA and SF/Sacromento beneath. There is also a modern and recently installed information panel. The standard brown wheelchair lift enclosure has also recently been built, it and an orange luggage cart are behind a tall, spiked fence. This is located a bit north of the grade crossing with Parker Road. A wide concrete plaza is the only legal access where two angled shelters with turquoise roofs cover two benches each for waiting passengers. Beyond these shelters, well set back from the tracks is the modern depot. It is a single story concrete building with a sweeping turquoise roof that extends beyond the actual building to provide canopied walkways to the platform and parking lot. Silver letters on both sides of the depot say Modesto Amtrak Station. The passenger waiting area has numerous modern black connected seats and floor to ceiling windows allowing natural light in. There are restrooms and the only food service is from a few vending machines. There is also a taller chimney looking spire in the middle of the depot, with windows on all four sides allowing light to come in that way. Inside is where the ticket office and checked baggage service is also found with two ticket windows and a silver grate door opening from the office to allow the orange baggage cart to drive out to the trains. A plaque dedicates the station in memory of George Gaekle. Beyond the depot is the station's 72 space parking lot with 50 of those spaces long-term surrounded by a high metal fence that can be locked at night when the station is closed for auto's safety. This leads to the one access road, which ends with a traffic circle north of the parking lot where the bus stop is (with a standard shelter) for MAX bus route #25, this road is the end of Held Drive that leads down to the main road Briggsmore Avenue/Parker Road (google gives two names). At their intersection is the station entrance sign.
Photos 1-45 taken on 14 February, 2012, 46-54: 19 October, 2014
Last Updated: 17 March, 2011