Truckee is a stop on the California Zephyr that serves the Sierras and has connecting local bus service on TART to northwest shore of Lake Tahoe. Service is supplemented three times per day in each direction by Amtrak California thruway buses down I-80 to and from Sacramento where passengers have to connect to Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin trains. The buses originate in Reno and Sparks, Nevada but intermediate travel is prohibited between those cities (eastbound buses receive all passengers in Sacramento, westbound buses discharge passengers only in Sacramento). The California Zephyr began stopping in Truckee in 1973. Thruway Bus service has operated since the Capitol Corridor began operations in 1992. Greyhound stops at the station as well about twice per day to Reno and Sacramento with continuing service nation wide. There are more Greyhound trips between Reno and Sacramento but many run express.
The historic Truckee Depot was built in 1900 by the Southern Pacific Railroad after the original 1869 structure burned down. The station is a standard single story SP wooden depot with cream-yellow walls and brown trim. It has a slightly gabled roof that is over-hanged slightly along each side of the depot but doesn't have wide porches like some have. The depot was last modernized in 1985. Inside is a small Transportation Lobby jammed full with a central, historic wooden bench and more modern benches along some of the walls. There are a few information panels and Amtrak timetables and brochures available. The ceiling is white and clearly original with a decorative design although the lighting isn't original (1980s circular light fixtures). An original safe is along one wall and a now closed roll up window that I have a feeling was originally a Greyhound ticket office. The station hasn't been staffed for Amtrak. A door from the transportation Lobby (as green signs outside say) leads into the Truckee California Welcome Center that is staffed by an employee/volunteer ambassador and is open 7 days per week. It is chock-full of tourism brochures but also has a historic baggage scale. It is also where the public restrooms are inside the station. Also occupying the relatively large depot is a glassblowing artists studio and the local chamber of commerce with their own entrances.
Directly outside the depot is a partially fenced off (but no gates) crumbling concrete platform with ballast overflowing it. This isn't quite where trains stop any more (on the northernmost of three tracks, the southern one is a siding). On the east side of the depot is a small red boxcar that now houses the Truckee Railroad Museum a tiny exhibit open Saturdays only. Next to this is a tiny, modern ADA platform maybe ten feet long with a tiny tactile warning strip and a generic brown wheelchair lift enclosure at one end. This was installed in 2011. Trains #5 and #6 currently stop one car at a time usually making a double-spot, first for the coaches in the front and then the sleepers in the back. In the area of the tiny platform are two plaques: one is Theodore John Judah (1826 - 1863) who was the chief engineer of the Central Pacific Railroad through the Sierras; the other commemorates the building of the Transcontinental Railroad in Truckee.
Amtrak Thruway, Greyhound, and two local TART bus routes all stop on the streetside of the depot with small bus stop signs for the various operators. These are in a small plaza just off of Donner Pass Road, the historic main street of Truckee, with quite a bit of parking in the area around the station (Amtrak says though there are only 12 short term parking spaces). Modern Amtrak signage was added during the 2011 ADA additions. These signs are not on the new ADA platform but instead in the area of the original platform that stretches from in front of the depot all the way to Bridge Street that has a grade-crossing east of the station. This crossing is far enough away from the platform that stopping trains don't normally block the crossing. Signage was previously just a number of gold Truckee, CA signs on a green background.
Photos 1-15 taken on 16 January, 2014, 16-74: 17 January, 2014; 75-82: 15 January, 2015; 83-90: 17 January, 2015
Last Updated: 26 January, 2015