NEW Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced at the end of November that he planned to cut funding for 140 transport projects across California in a bid to reduce the state’s budget deficit. Among the schemes at risk is the $66m second phase of Sacramento Regional Transit District’s South Corridor light rail line.

The 10·1 km first phase opened on September 26, extending the network to 43·2 km at a cost of $222m (RG 10.03 p614). The South line uses a Union Pacific right-of-way from Meadowview to a junction with the existing route just east of 16th Street station. Trains continue to St Rose of Lima station on the K Street Mall in the city centre. Serving seven stations, the line is operated exclusively by CAF-built cars, part of a batch of 40 delivered in 2002-03.

The second phase would continue the line by approximately 8 km south along the UP alignment from Meadowview Road to Calvine Road and Auberry Drive, adding four more stations. Preliminary engineering is underway and final design and construction are scheduled to begin before the end of 2004. Completion is expected in 2007.

Construction is already in progress on a 4·5 km eastern extension along another UP right-of-way from Mather Field/Mills to Sunrise Boulevard, which will add a further three stations. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on September 12 for a further 11·9 km from Sunrise to the neighbouring town of Folsom, with four stations.

Due to open in 2005, the $230·5m Folsom project includes additional double-tracking to eliminate bottlenecks on the existing route and a 1·1 km, three-stop spur from the city centre to the Amtrak station, which will serve a massive redevelopment zone in the adjacent yards.

CAPTION: City College station on the South line is a major traffic generator, with many students arriving and leaving throughout the day Photos: Julian Wolinsky

CAPTION: Workers complete the platform at Zinfandel Drive station, part of the 4·5 km first phase of the LRT extension to Folsom. Trackwork and catenary are nearly complete (left), as is the relocation of a Union Pacific freight line (right) which shares the right-of-way