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South San Francisco
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South San Francisco is a Caltrain Station that is the only intermediate stop with regular, all day (not weekend only) service that still has a hold-out rule and one of two stations (as well as 22 Street) that have all-day service and are not wheelchair accessible. Train service is minimal and just about hourly (with two trains per hour in the San Francisco-bound peak direction). The station is also in the middle of a yard used by freight trains although Express trains normally bypass the station on the main line tracks, not the sidings that don't platform. The freight yard includes some sidings that protrude into the station's small parking lot on the west side of the tracks, where all train boarding occurs. These tracks lead to what looks like an abandoned high-level concrete freight platform that is now completely between the access road to the station and nearby streets.

There are about six tracks (including the yard) in the area of the station. Starting from the west side is the station's boarding area and parking lot, there is first a siding track, this track is completely paved over and passengers can wait directly on the tracks. Next is a small, couple-inch high platform with a simple wait behind the yellow line along the main southbound track. Various pedestrian crossings lead to another very narrow platform that is painted a danger don't wait here and don't walk out to me until your train has come to a complete stop yellow and is along the track used by northbound trains. There are finally 3 more siding tracks in use by freight trains with freight cars and locomotives often positioned on them.

For waiting passengers the only amenities are about four black bus shelters, with some bike racks and a number of bike boxes. Signage is minimal with just white South San Francisco lettering pestered to the top of some of the shelters. Along the platform is a small 81 space parking lot (that has some freight tracks embedded in it) and a narrow driveway access road to Dubuque Avenue. The station is located beneath the concrete highway overpass of Grand Avenue with a metal pedestrian staircase up to the sidewalk to the street. Along concrete wall of this overpass set-back from the platform is a mural Prometheus Brings Fire to Man by Nicolai Larson dedicated on August 24, 1996 by the city of South San Francisco.
All Photos taken on 1 June, 2013

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Getting off a northbound train having to cross the southbound track
A northbound train stops on the hold-out track
There is another freight siding as the doors close on the hold-out track
F40 #910 pushes a northbound train passing UP Freight Locomotives
F40 #910 pushes a northbound train passing two locomotives
A northbound train fades off into the distance, leaving a freight train in the dust
The minimal amenities for passengers beneath an overpass
Looking across to the concrete of a BART tunnel portal
The middle sign for To San Jose/Gilroy
No exiting the platform until the northern end of the platform
The main exit, bollards keeping passengers off the street
The blur of a bypassing express train
The unique platforms
The text on the shelters is all that says South San Francisco
The freight train has left, just two old locomotives
Two locomotives with fading paint both are from the Cotton Belt Line, one is #9652
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Home<California<Caltrain<South San Francisco

Last Updated: 10 March, 2014
All photos are by Jeremiah Cox
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