But along came the next train (really, I don't even know what train it's supposed to be at this point), and I was not optimistic about getting on, because it was a Bombardier (the new trains, theoretically much nicer than the old, but which annoyingly aren't able to, or allowed to, take as many bikes).
It was full, but this crew was more amenable, and allowed a couple of us to stash our wheels in this space (the picture is from another, calmer, day):
Where there is actually plenty of room for a whole other stack of bikes, but where CalTrain has elected to provide neither racks nor seats, and just lets the space go to waste.
I pointed out to the conductor how conveniently everything fitted, and asked why they couldn't just put another bike rack in in the first place. His response was something to the effect of "we just run'em, dont design'em," but added "they don't even listen when we tell them which trains need extra bike cars."
Transit operators are a great source of useful information that transit providers almost never tap--I've read some pretty good critiques of vehicles by drivers over on SFMuniHistory (I wouldn't have guessed, but in retrospect it makes sense, that one of the most important features of a bus or streetcar is how fast you can open and close the doors). Not to mention (ahem!) us riders!