California Avenue is a Caltrain station that was one of the last stations to have a 'hold-out' rule with the San Jose-bound platform having the platform and San Francisco-bound platform accessed by a long platform with pedestrian crossings to it across the San Jose-bound track (South San Francisco is the only station that still has frequent daily service to have this rule). The station wasn't ADA compliant either. Construction on an underpass tunnel and separate side platform for the San Francisco-bound track began in 2007 and was completed in 2009 ending the 'hold-out' rule. The station (although never served by Baby Bullet Express trains) was one of the last inline stations to have a ticket office, having one until mid 2005 when it was closed. The station platforms run between the underpass of Oregon Expressway at their eastern ends to California Avenue that is split into two for auto traffic by the train tracks but has a pedestrian tunnel that crosses under the tracks and also Alma Street.
The station's two side platforms both were modernized with tactile warning strips and have 3 black bus shelters with built in black benches. One of these shelters has the ADA bench that is the built in bench painted blue. Next to this is a mobile lift on each platform. Although the San Francisco-bound platform is along Alma Street there is no direct access to it, all access is via the San Jose-bound platform using the underpass. Passengers wanting to go from the San Francisco-bound platform to Alma Street and North California Avenue must use two pedestrian tunnels: first the one in the station and the second that connects the segments of California Avenue, this is quite poor access. Signs at the entrance to the the underpass say "No TVMs or Clipper Card validators on San Francisco-bound platform." The underpass connecting the two platforms is simple and bare concrete, just east of the middle of the platform a gradual ramp leads down from the side of each platform. The San Francisco-bound platform has an additional staircase to it from the underpass while the San Jose-bound platform has a wider opening and a grander double staircase. This double staircase leads up to the middle of the station's 185-space parking lot. Here is a shelter with a few TVMs inside it. The major entrance is at the eastern end from S California Avenue that has a turn-around loop; in the loop are the station's bike boxes. Along the end of the platform is the station's tiny half-building-half shelter is. The building has a Spanish tiled roof and stucco walls. Arches lead out to the platform and cover some benches and Clipper Card Validators and another TVM. The interior space housed the station's ticket office until it was closed. The parking lot has a final minor entrance across an overpass (that lacks a sidewalk) over Oregon Expressway to Page Mill Road and Sheridan Avenue.
All Photos taken on 12 June, 2013