>In this segment, unlike the circuitous and built-up segments to the south, high speeds could be achieved at relatively low cost – the existing right-of-way is nearly flat and remains straight over long stretches as it crosses the Central Valley. It also provides access to a series of cities within the I-80 corridor. However, it is shared with freight trains, limiting passenger capacity to the current 15 daily round-trips.
>The solution, then, might be to make the existing alignment passenger-only by providing freight with an alternative right-of-way. Fortunately, while there is no existing parallel railroad, there is right-of-way remaining from an earlier railroad – the Sacramento Northern, on which freight trains operated until the 1960s.
>Much of the alignment still exists between Suisun Bay and the community of Saxon, 11 miles southwest of Sacramento. With connections via the Tracy Subdivision used by freight as well as Amtrak San Joaquin trains between Martinez and Pittsburg, a new Delta crossing just east of Suisun Bay, and new right-of-way connecting to the existing right-of-way in West Sacramento,a brand new freight railroad could be built in the Sacramento Northern right-of-way, as shown in the map on the following page.