Rail passenger service is returning to downtown Manteca in 2023 after a 91-year absence.
A memorandum of understanding between the San Joaquín Regional Rail Commission and the Manteca City Council Tuesday night clears the way for the construction a station and additional park for the start of Altamont Corridor Express Service next year.
The Manteca station is part of the rollout of Ceres to Natomas (north of downtown Sacramento) service as well as Ceres to San Jose service starting in 2023.
The MOU notes the city has already acquired three parcels south of the existing Manteca Transit Center for expanding the parking. It also points out the rail commission is in the process of buying two additional parcels south of what the city bought.
That means the parking, when completed, will stretch all the way to the city’s water well treatment facility at Moffat Boulevard and Garfield Avenue.
Across the street will be the expanded Manteca High parking lot.
It effectively adds additional parking spaces for major events and football games at Manteca High. That’s because stalls occupied by riders on earlier trains departing and returning will be freeing up spaces just before events such as Friday night football games start.
The parking would also be available during major weekend events such as the Manteca Chamber of Commerce Watermelon Festival in June and the Sunrise Kiwanis Manteca Pumpkin Fair in October.
It also means the south side of Moffat Boulevard bordering the Tidewater Bikeway will have all parcels that can be developed being utilized as either parking, municipal uses such as the Manteca Community Center Hall, Manteca Transit Center, or well water treatment facility and the one remaining privately owned parcel directly cross from Eckert’s Cold Storage.
The passenger boarding platform is expected to be be placed far enough away from the Main Street crossing that the five minutes or so it takes for a train to unload and load passengers won’t block the crossing.
The station will have a center loaded platform accessed by a tunnel.
Such a design allows for the future possibility of double tracking or a siding.
The additional improvements will blend in with the Manteca Transit Center.
The ACE operation will utilize the existing bus loading area that is accessed by Manteca’s Transit, Modesto Area Express, and San Joaquin Regional Transit.
A passenger drop-off and loading zone for train service will also be incorporated into the design of the parking lot.
The city will be responsible for maintaining landscaping and will be reimbursed by the rial commission.
The city will pay for security for the station access and parking lot from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The last passenger train serving downtown Manteca was the Tidewater Southern Railway electric interburban passenger trains.
The last train ran on May 26, 1932.