San Jose Diridon station

Coordinates: 37°19′48″N 121°54′11″W / 37.330°N 121.903°W / 37.330; -121.903
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San Jose Diridon
Caltrain Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Amtrak Altamont Corridor Express
San Jose Diridon station in November 2019
General information
Location65 Cahill Street
San Jose, California
United States
Coordinates37°19′48″N 121°54′11″W / 37.330°N 121.903°W / 37.330; -121.903
Owned byPeninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board
Line(s)Peninsula Subdivision[1]
Platforms1 side platform, 4 island platforms (Amtrak/Caltrain/ACE)
2 side platforms (VTA Light Rail)
Tracks9 (Amtrak/Caltrain/ACE)
2 (VTA Light Rail)
ParkingYes; paid
Bicycle facilitiesRacks
Other information
Station codeAmtrak: SJC
Fare zone4 (Caltrain)
OpenedDecember 1935
August 1, 2005 (VTA Light Rail)[2]
Opening2036 (BART)
Previous namesCahill Depot
Original companySouthern Pacific
20184,876 (avg. weekday)[3] (Caltrain)
FY 2022110,949 (annually)[4] (Amtrak)
Preceding station Amtrak Following station
Santa Clara
toward Auburn
Capitol Corridor Terminus
Oakland – Jack London Square
toward Seattle
Coast Starlight Salinas
Preceding station Caltrain Following station
Santa Clara
(Train #106 stops at College Park)
Local (L1) Tamien
Santa Clara Weekend Local (L2)
(Train #307 stops at College Park)
Limited (L3) Tamien
toward Tamien or Gilroy
Santa Clara
(Trains #405 & #408 stop at College Park)
Limited (L4)
Santa Clara Limited (L5) Tamien
Mountain View Baby Bullet (B7) Terminus
Preceding station Altamont Corridor Express Following station
Santa Clara
toward Stockton
San Jose – Stockton Terminus
Preceding station VTA light rail Following station
San Fernando Green Line Race
toward Winchester
Former services
Preceding station Amtrak Following station
Oakland-16th Street
toward Sacramento
Spirit of California Salinas
Preceding station Southern Pacific Railroad Following station
Santa Clara Coast Line Tamien
Milpitas Oakland – San Jose Terminus
Terminus San Jose – Santa Cruz Campbell
toward Santa Cruz
Future services
Preceding station Bay Area Rapid Transit Following station
Downtown San Jose
toward Richmond
Orange Line Santa Clara
Downtown San Jose
toward Daly City
Green Line
Preceding station California High-Speed Rail Following station
Millbrae Phase I Gilroy
towards Los Angeles or Anaheim
Southern Pacific Depot
ArchitectJohn H. Christie
Architectural styleItalian Renaissance Revival
NRHP reference No.93000274[5]
Added to NRHPApril 1, 1993

San Jose Diridon station is the central passenger rail depot for San Jose, California. It also serves as a major intermodal transit center for Santa Clara County and Silicon Valley. The station is named after former Santa Clara County Supervisor Rod Diridon Sr.

The station is on the Union Pacific Railroad Coast Line tracks (formerly Southern Pacific Transportation Company) at 65 Cahill Street in San Jose. The depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its Italian Renaissance Revival style architectural and historical significance.

The station is served by Caltrain, ACE, VTA light rail, and Amtrak trains. The bus plaza at the station is served by Amtrak Thruway, Greyhound, Megabus, Monterey–Salinas Transit, Santa Cruz METRO (Highway 17 Express), and VTA buses.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) metro service to a new underground station is projected to begin in 2036 with the completion of the Silicon Valley BART extension.[6][7]


The main waiting room

The depot is in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, with a three-story central section flanked by two-story wings. The building, a compilation of rectangular sections, is 390 feet (118 m) long and 40 feet to 78 feet (12 to 24 m) wide. The central section, which contains the passenger waiting room, measures 40 by 80 feet (12 by 25 m) and is 33 feet (10 m) high. The high center pavilion housing the waiting room is constructed of steel columns and trusses. The side wings are framed with wood. The exterior walls are clad with tapestry brick or varied colors and arranged in an English bond pattern. The depot is in an industrial area formerly dominated by warehouses and related commercial businesses. Several vernacular sheds, a water tower, butterfly passenger sheds and the nearby Alameda underpass are all contributing buildings and structures within the railroad station.[8]

The building was designed by Southern Pacific architect, John H. Christie, who had worked on the Southern Pacific remodeling of the Fresno depot in 1915 and later, in 1939, worked on Union Station in Los Angeles. This depot is one of only four Italian Renaissance Revival style depots in California, and the largest surviving depot of the San Francisco–San Jose line. The only other large depots built in California during the 1930s were the Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal and Stockton Cabral station.


The Coast Daylight at San Jose in 1970
Aerial view of Diridon station and vicinity

A rail station at this location was established in 1878, when the narrow-gauge South Pacific Coast Railroad opened their San Jose Depot on the site. When Southern Pacific gained control of the railroad in 1887, the station was folded into the system and referred to as the West San Jose Depot.[9]: 25 

The current station opened in December 1935 as Cahill Depot. The opening of the depot was the culmination of a 30-year effort to relocate 4.5 miles (7.2 km) of the Coast Line of the Southern Pacific Railroad away from the heavy traffic of the downtown area around the Market Street Depot, formerly located at Market and Bassett Streets, to the eastern edge of Willow Glen. The new depot replaced the Fourth Street line's station for passengers,[9]: 26  though freight operations persisted for some time at the old facility.

The Cahill Depot was a stop for several Southern Pacific passenger trains, including the famous San FranciscoLos Angeles train, the Coast Daylight. Other "named" trains that used the station were the all first-class Lark (a San Francisco-Los Angeles night train), seasonal Suntan Special, and the Del Monte. It was also a major station on the Peninsula Commute, the SP's commuter service between San Jose and San Francisco.

Amtrak took over long-distance passenger train service in 1971. Fourteen years later, Caltrans took over the Peninsula Commute and renamed it Caltrain.

Restoration of the station was finished in 1994,[9]: 125, 126  when the station was renamed Diridon Station after former Santa Clara County Supervisor Rod Diridon.[10]

In 1996, Santa Clara County voters approved a half cent sales tax to fund the 1996 Measure B Transportation Improvement Project. Part of this project was the construction of the Vasona Light Rail extension which included a VTA light rail platform at the Diridon train depot.[11] The official opening date for this light rail extension was October 1, 2005, however, revenue service at the San Fernando and Diridon Stations began on July 29, 2005 to accommodate attendees of the inaugural San Jose Grand Prix race.

The passenger platform was featured in the opening scene of Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie (1964) representing the Hartford, Connecticut, train station.



Caltrain Stadler KISS at San Jose Diridon. As part of the Caltrain Modernization Program, these new electric multiple units have been undergoing testing since 2023 and are planned to enter service in 2024.

San Jose Diridon station is a major station for the Caltrain commuter rail line. Most trains outside of peak hours originate and terminate here, with rush-hour trains continuing as far south as Gilroy. It is the southern terminus for the Altamont Corridor Express, a commuter service running between Stockton and Silicon Valley.

The station is the southern terminus for the Capitol Corridor, Amtrak's regional rail service for the urban core of Northern California, with seven round trips to Sacramento on weekdays and six on weekends. A seventh weekend round trip goes all the way to Auburn in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. It is also a major stop for Amtrak's Coast Starlight, a long-distance service running along the length of the Pacific Coast from Seattle to Los Angeles.

Diridon Station is served by the Green Line of the VTA light rail system.



Rendering of the future Diridon BART Station entrance

The San Jose Diridon station is planned as a future stop on the California High-Speed Rail line and Phase II of VTA's Silicon Valley BART extension in Santa Clara County. Since late 2019, CHSRA, VTA, Caltrain, and City of San Jose have jointly held "Diridon Integrated Station Concept Plan" public workshops to determine how to best rebuild the Diridon station in order to facilitate integration of future and existing services.

The BART station will be called Diridon and planned to be a subway station adjacent to the train station and Santa Clara Street. It will be located between the Santa Clara and Downtown San Jose BART stations with direct service to Santa Clara, San Francisco/Daly City (via the East Bay), and Richmond.[12]


  1. ^ SMA Rail Consulting (April 2016). "California Passenger Rail Network Schematics" (PDF). California Department of Transportation. p. 13.
  2. ^ "VTA Facts: Light Rail System" (PDF). Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. November 30, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 20, 2009. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  3. ^ "2018 Annual Count Key Findings Report" (PDF). Caltrain. 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 20, 2020. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  4. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2022: State of California" (PDF). Amtrak. June 2023. Retrieved August 30, 2023.
  5. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 15, 2006.
  6. ^ "BART delays loom for downtown San Jose: BART timetable for downtown San Jose service now seen as 2030". San Jose Mercury News. September 24, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019. At one point, political and business leaders had anticipated BART service beginning in 2026 in downtown San Jose, but the new estimates from VTA point to a service launch more in the 2029 or 2030 time frame…
  7. ^ Handa, Robert (September 25, 2019). "New Design on BART Extension to San Jose Pushes Back Completion Date to 2030". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  8. ^ "Southern Pacific Depot". California's Historic Silicon Valley. National Park Service. Retrieved March 9, 2007.
  9. ^ a b c McGovern, Janet (2012). Caltrain and the Peninsula Commute Service. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9780738576220.
  10. ^ "History. Caltrain Milestones". Archived from the original on August 27, 2006.
  11. ^ "Vasona Project Description". Completed projects. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. September 15, 2008. Retrieved November 16, 2008.
  12. ^ BART Silicon Valley Fact Sheet Archived 2010-07-11 at the Wayback Machine. VTA - BART Silicon Valley, 2011.

External links[edit]

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Park Service.