The 66km Valley Link will connect the planned North Lathrop Altamont Commuter Express station with Dublin/Pleasanton Bart station, with five intermediate stations.

The transport backbone of this corridor is currently Interstate 580, one of the most congested highways in northern California. More than 82,000 commuters currently cross the Altamont Pass each weekday and this figure is forecast to grow by 75% between 2016 and 2040.

Valley Link services would operate at 12-minute headways on the Tri-Valley section from Dublin/Pleasanton to Greenville and every 30 minutes at other times. Peak services from North Lathrop will operate at 24-minute headways to connect with alternate Bart services.

In the initial phase of operations trains will run between 05.00 and 20.00 with a journey time of 1h 13min between the terminus stations.

The line is forecast to carry 25,000 passengers per day by 2040.

The capital cost of the project is estimated at $US 1.8bn at 2018 prices and the study’s indicative timeline suggests a completion date early in the third quarter of 2026. A second phase could extend Valley Link services from North Lathrop to an interchange with Ace and Amtrak services at Stockton.

The Mountain House - Greenville section of the line will use part of the alignment of the Transcontinental Railroad, which crossed the Altamont Pass between 1869 and 1879, when a deviation via the Carquinez Strait was completed. The line remained in use until its abandonment in 1984, when the Southern Pacific Railway deeded the alignment to Alameda County.

Public consultation on the feasibility report will continue until July 31.

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