Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Redwood City to Mountain View--Via Fremont!

I ascended the Dumbarton Bridge by bike again, and pushed on to the other side.

Looking down, I noticed that the eastern stub of the original highway bridge is open as as a fishing pier.

On the Fremont side of the bridge, the bike path goes past baylands and sloughs.

What looked at first like an old-fashioned riverboat turned out to be a dredger, I think.

The bike path connects with Thornton Blvd. I passed this interesting agricultural remnant, which I think was once a pump house with a water tank on top.

Thornton leads almost directly to Fremont Centerville Station.

At Centerville Station, you can get on both Amtrak Capitol Corridor and Altamont Commuter Express trains. If you're heading south, either one will take you to Santa Clara/Great America (not the same place as the Santa Clara CalTrain station). There's a vending machine for Amtrak tickets in the station's waiting room, but for ACE tickets, go to the Depot Cafe in the other end of the station.

I was waiting for an Amtrak train, but I checked out the cafe because I needed some coffee. It was pretty good and their breakfast menu looked allright, too.

Centerville is an interesting area, with nice old small-town downtown type brick buildings, many filled with middle eastern businesses. This is the heart of Fremont's "Little Kabul".

The station has a webcam which you can view at, which caught this picture of Mr 295bus checking a schedule.

The train was punctual, lead by some unexpected motive power. Hey, buddy, wasn't expecting to run into you over here!

A CalTrain engine was coupled in front of the usual Amtrak California one. Probably it was on its way back from maintenance at Sacramento.

The run from Fremont to San Jose is more scenic than you'd expect to see from a commuter train. There's a mountain of salt,

and the ghost town of Drawbridge.

The VTA's light rail passes right over the Great America train station, but it's not totally clear how you're supposed to get between them. I think you're supposed to climb up a spiral staircase and walk a block east--since I had a bike, I went a different way, and rode several blocks west, to the VTA Great America station. I'm pretty sure now that that's the long way!

After a few minutes, a light rail train came along.

It was surprisingly crowded. I had to stand. Perhaps business is picking up?

This has been my most roundabout commute yet, but definitely the most fun!


TransitRant said...

Wow, what a trip! Thanks for posting that... enjoyed the pics... I go to Hayward once or twice a week... from Los Altos, there is NO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION that works... maybe in good weather I will try the bike... it's 22 miles, each way.

295bus said...

It *is* a great ride, and it's been way too long since I've done it.

Coming from Los Altos you could make good use of the Bol Park bike path (starts at Foothill & Arastradero, runs to Bol Park, which gets you most of the way to Cal Ave--and it goes along an ex-interurban trolley line too, which is cool).

Thanks for reading!