On Tuesday, July 4, 2000 Amtrak dedicated their new Bakersfield, CA station! This culminated a long term partership project between Amtrak, the State of California, and the City of Bakersfield. The new station is 0.9 miles East of the old station. Amtrak started service to Bakersfield in 1974 utilizing the old station facility. In the intervening 26 years, this station has become the fifth busiest (in passenger volume) in California and the twelfth busiest in the United States.
The old station was located next to the BNSF's yard office and adjacent to the BNSF's freight sorting yard. It was housed in a very small prefabricated building with a small parking lot and a small bus transfer area. Overnight train storage was limited to two trainsets. Lighting was minimal, but adequate.
The new station is large and quite impressive in appearance. Two large platform tracks are present, with one of these platforms having a long cover. There are fourteen parking spaces for buses immediately adjacent to the platforms. The bus facility also has a long cover over it. There is considerable landscaping in addition to multiple water fountains and a playground. The new station is very nice in appearance and is much larger than the old station. The new station and its adjacent facilities are beautifully lit at night. Three trainsets can be easily stored overnight.
The Grand Opening Ceremonies began at 10:30 A.M. on Tuesday, July 4, 2000. Bakersfield's Mayor, Robert Price, was Master of Ceremonies. State Senator Jim Costa represented the State of California. Gil Mallery, Amtrak West's CEO, represented Amtrak. Cowboy singing legend Buck Owens performed. A barbershop quartet also performed. A drawing for free Amtrak trips was held. Amtrak literature and timetables were handed out. Tours of Amtrak passenger cars and busses were held. The first passenger train into the station broke a banner. Senator Costa announced that a sixth round trip San Joaquin train will be added this fall. This will be a second Bakersfield to Sacramento train.
The photographs show the new station before and after its opening. Also there are photos of the old station before and after its closing. They span the time frame from July 1 to July 4, 2000.
TrainWeb wishes to thank Greg and Chuck Isaac for covering the grand opening of the new Bakersfield Amtrak Station and providing us with the story and the photos. The photos that Greg and Chuck Isaac provided to us were of very high-quality and resolution. In order to allow our visitors to be able to view these photos by downloading them in a reasonable amount of time, as well as keeping the disk space usage for each photo within TrainWeb standards, we had to reduce the size of each photo file to about 15% of the original size. As a result, the photos that you see online do not have the clarity and brilliance of the original photos that were sent to us. We apologize for not being able to provide you with the same original high-quality photos that were sent to us and hope that you will understand the online constraints that restricted us from doing so.
Click on each of these links to see the difference between the low and high resolution images. You will see the better quality of the higher resolution image, but you will also see the difference in how long it takes to download each image. The difference in download time will be more noticeable for those of you that connect to the internet via a 56k baud modem and below. The download delay might not be as noticeable for those of you connected to the internet via high-speed DSL, cable modems, or faster access methods. The difference in quality of the images will also be more apparent to those of you with higher resolution computer screens. (1) High-Res (2) Low-Res