California Commuter

Written by: Gary Dolzall

Train Simulator’s Peninsula Corridor route brings California commuter – and freight – operations to life!

California’s magnificent San Francisco Bay Peninsula and famed “Silicon Valley” is host to dynamic commuter railroading and challenging contemporary freight operations on Train Simulator’s new Peninsula Corridor route, available at the Steam Store!

Train Simulator’s Peninsula Corridor route extends over 47 miles of multiple track between San Francisco’s bustling 4th & King Street station and San Jose’s stylish Diridon station, and in between features more than 20 intermediate stations served by commuter operator Caltrain.

Formed in the 1980s to take over the legendary “Peninsula Commute Services” previously operated by the Southern Pacific, Caltrain has emerged as one of America’s most innovative and successful commuter rail operators, today serving more than 17 million commuters and travelers annually. On Train Simulator’s Peninsula Corridor route, Caltrain’s popular “Baby Bullet” express commuter trains are featured, and the route includes the distinctive and rakish Motive Power, Inc. (MPI) “MPXpress” MP36PH-3C diesels and Bombardier Bi-Level cab cars and commuter coaches that are regularly assigned to the Baby Bullets.

With 24 intermediate Caltrain station stops to serve between San Francisco and San Jose, commuter railroading on the Peninsula Corridor route is challenging – and often fast-paced (commuter trains operate at up to 79 mph on the line). And this new Train Simulator route masterfully re-creates Caltrain’s many unique stations, such as those at Millbrae, San Bruno, San Mateo, Burlingame, and Sunnyvale. The route also includes Caltrain’s expansive Central Equipment & Maintenance Facility (CEMOF) located near San Jose’s Diridon station.

As busy – and challenging – as contemporary commuter operations on the Peninsula Corridor route are, hauling people is not the only story on this highly authentic new route. When, in 1996, Southern Pacific was merged into western rail giant Union Pacific, the UP assumed freight operations on the Peninsula. Union Pacific operates switching, local, and road-haul freights out of the snug freight yard at South San Francisco, and Train Simulator’s Peninsula Corridor route features a Union Pacific Electro-Motive GP38-2 and accompanying UP freight rolling stock, providing the opportunity to test your skills at freight duties.

Train Simulator’s Peninsula Corridor route includes seven career scenarios (re-creating a variety of Caltrain and Union Pacific operations) as well as three railfan scenarios – and no doubt many community-created scenarios for the route will appear at Steam Workshop.

Train Simulator’s Peninsula Corridor route is available at the Store, and this new authentic and famed rail route promises fast-paced American commuter railroading – and challenging freight operations – along California’s legendary and vibrant San Francisco Bay Peninsula! – Gary Dolzall

The Peninsula Corridor route brings to Train Simulator the famed multi-track commuter rail route operated by Caltrain along California’s vibrant San Francisco Peninsula. On a rainy morning, a Caltrain “Baby Bullet” makes its way out of San Francisco’s busy 4th & King Street (above), and on another day, a Baby Bullet powered by MPI MP36PH-3C 927 blasts out of one of the tunnels near Bayshore. All screenshots by Gary Dolzall.

The Peninsula Corridor route brings to Train Simulator the famed multi-track commuter rail route operated by Caltrain along California’s vibrant San Francisco Peninsula. On a rainy morning, a Caltrain “Baby Bullet” makes its way out of San Francisco’s busy 4th & King Street (above), and on another day, a Baby Bullet powered by MPI MP36PH-3C 927 blasts out of one of the tunnels near Bayshore. All screenshots by Gary Dolzall.

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Freight service on the Peninsula Corridor route is provided by Union Pacific and centered from diminutive South San Francisco Yard. Ready for some predawn work ahead of the commuter rush, Union Pacific GP38-2 504 is about to go to work on a South San Francisco switch job.

Freight service on the Peninsula Corridor route is provided by Union Pacific and centered from diminutive South San Francisco Yard. Ready for some predawn work ahead of the commuter rush, Union Pacific GP38-2 504 is about to go to work on a South San Francisco switch job.

A highlight of Caltrain’s Peninsula line – and of the new Train Simulator route – is the remarkable variety of lineside stations. A southbound Baby Bullet pulls into elevated San Bruno station (above), while a few miles further south, Bombardier Bi-Levels are ready to load passengers at the unique and modernistic Millbrae Transit Center (below).

A highlight of Caltrain’s Peninsula line – and of the new Train Simulator route – is the remarkable variety of lineside stations. A southbound Baby Bullet pulls into elevated San Bruno station (above), while a few miles further south, Bombardier Bi-Levels are ready to load passengers at the unique and modernistic Millbrae Transit Center (below).

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More traditionally designed stations also dot the Peninsula Corridor, such as busy and classic San Mateo station, which serves more than 2,000 riders on an average weekday.

More traditionally designed stations also dot the Peninsula Corridor, such as busy and classic San Mateo station, which serves more than 2,000 riders on an average weekday.

Union Pacific freight operations on the route include switching, local, and line-haul work. Near Lawrence, a pair of Union Pacific GP38-2s make a pick-up of a pair of refrigerator cars (above), then have the northbound leg of the “Broadway Local” in tow near Sunnyvale (below).

Union Pacific freight operations on the route include switching, local, and line-haul work. Near Lawrence, a pair of Union Pacific GP38-2s make a pick-up of a pair of refrigerator cars (above), then have the northbound leg of the “Broadway Local” in tow near Sunnyvale (below).

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Nearing its destination at San Jose, a southbound Baby Bullet has just passed Caltrain’s Central Equipment & Maintenance Facility (CEMOF) visible in the distance, and will soon be pulling into Diridon station.

Nearing its destination at San Jose, a southbound Baby Bullet has just passed Caltrain’s Central Equipment & Maintenance Facility (CEMOF) visible in the distance, and will soon be pulling into Diridon station.

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Whether dawn, dusk, or daytime, San Jose’s stylish Diridon station (above and below) is a busy place, serving more than 4,000 commuters on each typical weekday. Train Simulator’s new Peninsula Corridor route delivers California-style railroading at its challenging best!

Whether dawn, dusk, or daytime, San Jose’s stylish Diridon station (above and below) is a busy place, serving more than 4,000 commuters on each typical weekday. Train Simulator’s new Peninsula Corridor route delivers California-style railroading at its challenging best!

Profile photo of Gary Dolzall

Gary Dolzall

2 Comments

  • Profile photo of David Whiting

    Pity my PC’s out of action right now. Personally I’m more a freight guy than a commuter driver so the included GP38-2 will be a more than welcome addition to my UP diesel roster.

  • Profile photo of the p2 person

    I must say this is an outstanding route. It blows my mind that CalTrain is finally in Train Simulator.

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