|Steven Sutton | email@example.com | March 2, 2020 |
Belmont Caltrain will soon be busy with up to six months of fast “Baby Bullet” and “Limited” stop trains. These trains, which currently bypass Belmont in favor of larger stops with more ridership, will be redirected from Hillsdale Station during its approximately six-month closure beginning sometime in the Spring of 2020.
During Hillsdale’s temporary closure, a new station will be built about a half-mile walk north of Hillsdale on 28th Ave. Hillsdale is currently served by “Baby Bullet” fast trains and extra “Limited” stop trains in the morning and later in the afternoon. This extra traffic will be moved to Belmont during the closure.
Due to faster train service being moved to Belmont, d.tech students will temporarily have more options in their morning commutes. Trains that currently stop at Hillsdale but not Belmont will soon do so, such as the southbound “Baby Bullet” train 324 and northbound “Limited” train 225.
While afternoon service will remain mostly the same, students leaving later in the evening for Robotics or other after school activities can take advantage of the extra evening trains, such as the 262, 264, and 268.
Caltrain’s website says that the updated timetable for the temporary closure will be released in “Winter 2019”, but as of now, no timetable has been released to the public. A Caltrain spokesperson denied that the website is explicitly wrong, but said that the revised timetable is going to be kept “internal” for now. Regardless, it is expected that the change will be kept as simple as possible, with all trains that currently stop at Hillsdale bypassing it and stopping at Belmont instead.
The closure of Hillsdale Station was originally planned for the Summer of 2019, but due to problems involving the relocation of underground AT&T fiber optic cable, which needed to be removed from under the train tracks, the closure was delayed, first to December 2019 and then to Spring 2020. According to a Caltrain spokesperson, “The object [of the delays] is to minimize” the amount of time the station is closed. He also referred to the closure time as “Spring or early Summer”, suggesting that the closure could be delayed again.
Other transit options will be provided for Hillsdale passengers. A shuttle running between Belmont and Hillsdale stations during commute hours on weekdays began service on October 1, 2019, and Caltrain riders may utilize Samtrans bus Route ECR, which runs at 15-minute intervals on weekdays and 20-minute intervals on weekends down El Camino Real, for no additional fare. Both the bus and shuttle have accommodations for bike riders, but bikes cannot be brought aboard the bus or shuttle and electric bikes cannot be placed in the bike racks located on the front of the vehicles.