The “Capitol Corridor” is the name of the Amtrak passenger train route between California’s capital, Sacramento, and San Jose, the state’s first capital upon admission to the Union in 1850. The scenery between these two areas highlights vastly different land uses; examples include an industrialized shoreline covered with a forest of petroleum refineries, urban areas transitioning from industrial to residential use, and a wildlife refuge disturbed only by the passage of freight trains. The Capitol Corridor is now an integral part of the transportation scene in Northern California. Since 1991, its equipment and infrastructure have evolved to keep pace with technology as well as the area’s dynamic economic and social environment.
The author is retired DEA Intelligence Research Specialist Matthew G. Vurek, a past president of the Central Coast Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.