PHOTOS: Redwood City's Train Station as a Hub of History

Redwood City's Caltrain station provides transportation for workers, a ride to San Francisco for Giants fans, and an interesting historical background for Bay Area history buffs.

The Redwood City Caltrain station is one among many located along the Peninsula, running from Gilroy in the south to San Francisco in the north.

Although the San Carlos station was the first to be established, the Redwood City station was not far behind. Historically, towns were located near and along the
train tracks, therefore being able to have access to easy transport and catering their businesses to the train passengers. Because of this, many towns centered their downtown areas around the train stations, and plots of land allotted to homes and businesses are much smaller and crowded along the tracks.

The Redwood City train station is no exception, as it is located right in the heart of the bustling downtown area, bordering Safeway, the Century 20 Movie Theater, and many other business establishments.

This station is a huge commuter station, drawing passengers that commute to San Francisco, Palo Alto, and other cities along the train's route. The Redwood City station also has trains (and several bullet trains) that take countless passengers to Giants games throughout the week. Kids, teens, and adults alike hop on the train for a quick traffic-free ride striaght to AT&T Park.

The Peninsula Caltrain line makes stops in San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Burlingame, San Mateo and many other cities, making north and southbound runs countless times a day. In an effort to “go green” and encourage train rides as opposed to driving a car, many local companies such as Genetech, offer their employees an incentive to take the train to work every day. For this reason, many employees take the early morning trains to their respective places of business.

So this summer, whether it's just a train ride to work, or a trip up to the City, try Caltrain: it's the fun and easy alternative to driving!

Reality Check June 23, 2011 at 07:57 PM
The photo caption states "The Redwood City Station is among the most quaint and well-preserved stations along the Caltrain route." The truth is that the Redwood City station burned down in the 1980's. Following that there was a temporary trailer and the area was pretty dumpy until SamTrans/Caltrain completed an opened a new "transit center" in July of 1995. So unlike other cities like Palo Alto, Menlo Park, San Carlos and Burlingame that still have their historic SP station buildings, nothing whatsoever of Redwood City's historic SP station or platforms remain. Even the SP tower adjacent to the Woodside Road overpass was torched ... Today Redwood City is merely left with a spartan shelter and SamTrans driver restroom disguised as a clock tower that were built in 1995 to sort of look somewhat like what somebody thought looked old fashioned.
Cindy Leafe June 23, 2011 at 11:57 PM
I remember being "promised" by the city that there would "ALWAYS" be an attendant located at the station when they were tearing down the old station ...... :-/
Reality Check June 24, 2011 at 12:18 AM
The Caltrain JPB and SamTrans own & operate the train & bus station and associated parking. It would therefore be very strange and inappropriate for anyone from the city to "promise" anything about an enterprise which they do not own, operate or govern. Not to mention it would even be inappropriate for Caltrain or SamTrans to make such promises. Costly and unionized ticket agents were obsoleted by rising labor costs, dwindling subsidies (pressure to be more efficient and do more with less) and the advent of more reliable and inexpensive automated ticket vending machines, etc.
Claire Felong June 24, 2011 at 01:09 AM
Regardless off how attractive the station may be, Caltrain won't gather many new customers without some basic recognition about how people make purchases. I decided to take the short train trip from Redwood City to Palo Alto and came with a $5 and a debit card. The machines now only accept coins and credit cards; an infrequent traveler (this includes tourists) is in no way prepared for this. How many of us carry around $5 or more in change.
Reality Check June 24, 2011 at 01:23 AM
Look again, the TVMs also take $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills ... and make change too! This poster "How to use Caltrain ticket vending machines" goes into more detail: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Marketing/pdf/TVM+How+To.pdf


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