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Home<California<VTA Light Rail<Alum Rock — Santa Teresa<Tamien
Home<California<Caltrain<Tamien

Tamien is a combined Caltrain and VTA Light Rail Station south of downtown San Jose. VTA Light Rail is located in the median of Guadalupe Parkway opened on August 17, 1990 as a plaque dedicates. Caltrain running north of the freeway has a graffiti covered plaque dedicating it on June 27, 1992 which was a VIP day. Regular service started by July 1, 1992 the same day that 2 trains per day were extended farther south to Gilroy. The station is 4 miles south and is a southern San Jose Park & Ride for Caltrain riders. About half (20 out of 46 trains per weekday in each direction) leave San Jose and run south to this station. These include 3 round-trip Baby Bullet Express trains going to S.F. in the AM rush hour, from in the PM. These operate in both directions around the AM and PM rush hours, there are also a couple of extended evening trips for late returning travelers. Originally there was more all day service to the station with nearly all trains (including all hourly midday trains) extended south from San Jose providing service here at least hourly. Budget cuts that discontinued half-hourly weekday midday service (reducing it to hourly) discontinued the hourly non-rush hour service to Tamien effective with the August 31, 2009 timetable. Weekend service (with all trains) was extended to Tamien, I believe with the station's opening. These were discontinued when all weekend Caltrain service was suspended for two years for the CTX project and never restored. Instead Caltrain dedicated (their fares are required) Shuttle Buses run hourly to and from San Jose Diridon connecting Tamien with Caltrain service. A day care center opened in the Caltrain side of the station's parking lot in November 1995 and allows a one-stop trip for commuters to park their car, board their train and drop off their child. All signage including on the Caltrain platform is in VTA's white with arrows surrounded by circles style. The station signage directs passengers to Child Care Center (with an image of a baby, like signs for a baby changing station). Both platforms at this station are fare paid zones with all TVMs for VTA Light Rail and Caltrain located in the two underpasses.

The VTA Light Rail and Caltrain platforms are parallel to one another. The VTA platform has the typical design of the stations on its original line. It is in the middle of the Guadalupe Parkway (CA-87). There are two separate large canopy structures. These have columns with some tiling them holding up and circular roofs. Tamien is written on these columns. Platform entrances are at either end. These both have a combined staircase/narrow up escalator down to a pedestrian underpass. The southern underpass unfortunately has the VTA platform elevator. Not good for step-free connections with Caltrain. This southern underpass leads only to the west side parking lot by the stations bus stop and loop (two bus lines). The northern underpass is more important and connects the smaller parking lots on both sides of the station. These parking lots accommodate a total of 275 free parking spaces. This is the most northern Caltrain station to offer free parking.

The northern underpass connects the Light Rail platform and provides the only entrances via a combined up escalator/staircase (surrounded by a yellow enclosure) and an elevator surrounded by a blue shaft to the island platform used by Caltrain. The platform is surrounded by a nearly full-length white canopy structure that runs as close to the edge of the tracks as it can while leaving enough clearance for the tall Caltrain and freight cars. Beneath it passengers have a variety of benches, some surrounded by glass windscreens on three sides. There is also a mobile lift built with the platform for ADA access. The station is the most southern stop (none of the 5 stops on the Gilroy line have them) to be equipped with Caltrain's LCD information signs that display the train number and if the train is late or not. They revert to "Train #--- Approaching" when a train is approaching the station. This island platform has two through tracks that platform west of a third track that doesn't platform and is used by Union Pacific freight trains. The Caltrain trips to and from Gilroy switch onto the single Union Pacific track that continues south of the station to reach Gilroy. Atamont Commuter Express's midday storage yard (with 4 tracks) is located a bit south of the station so these trains run light to and from their yard without stopping at the Caltrain Station. The final train to bypass the station is Amtrak's Coast Starlight that runs non-stop down the line bypassing Gilroy as well (the next stop is not until Salinas 67 miles south of San Jose).
All Photos taken on 12 June, 2013

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Getting off a terminating Caltrain
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The departure signs for Caltrain, it isn't clear the direction of any of these trains, there is also a sign to Verify Train Destination with Attendant prior to boarding
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The Caltrain platform has VTA styled signs
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Even this little destination sign for the travel direction to Gilroy is in the VTA style
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There is a mobile lift in its cage in the middle of the platform
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Sign for San Francisco
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Going down the staircase/escalator off the Caltrain platform, there is a strange sign for Caltrain, the light rail and the Child Care Center by the station
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The wide Caltrain ticketing and information area beneath its platform
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One side of the main station entrance on the east Caltrain side of the tracks
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A bike rack and looking into the wide Caltrain entrance area under its platform
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Plaque for the dedication of the Caltrain Station on June 27, 1992
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Bike Path entrance that is between Caltrain and the light rail
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The northern entrance staircase/narrow up escalator (closed) to the light rail, the elevator is at the opposite end of the platform from Caltrain
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The VTA Light Rail TVMs, in the long connecting pedestrian underpass beneath the rail lines and parkway above. A Caltrain Galley car is visible
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The main entrance to the light rail
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The southern light rail entrance is only from the east side of the highway and has an elevator
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Plaque for the Light Rail Station's opening on August 17, 1990
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Going up the escalator to the light rail platform
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The elevator is only accessed down a narrow walkway at the very southern end of the platform
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The VTA Light Rail is in the middle of the Guadalupe Parkway
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Last Updated: 2 February, 2014
All photos are by Jeremiah Cox
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