Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

To BASFA by Train

Having been offered a ride home from johno (for which many thanks), I decided to go ahead and go to BASFA tonight after all. I bought an $8 ticket on the Capitol online -- mainly to make sure that my Amtrak Guest Rewards number was properly credited -- and walked over to the Fremont Centerville train station at a few minutes before 6 PM to collect my ticket from the vending machine. (The new-generation machine works far better than the pile of junk they used to have.)

I went over to the far-side platform 2, and watched the Stockton-bound ACE train come in on the station-side platform 1 just before my San Jose-bound Capitol arrived. (I happened to find footage of the sequence on the Centerville webcam archive. The train sitting on the far track after ACE pulls out is the train I was on.)

The conductor made certain I knew this was a train going toward San Jose, not some misguided Stockton or Sacramento passenger. (A Sacramento-bound Capitol train was due in a few minutes as well.) This is a reasonable precaution, but I assured her that I was heading toward Santa Clara.

We had a slight delay at Newark Junction for the eastbound Capitol to pass, and then an uneventful scenic journey through the marshlands to Great America station in Santa Clara. Here, I got off the train and followed the signs upstairs and down the road overpass that spans the railroad tracks toward the Lick Mill VTA light rail station. Here the slight delay at Newark Junction almost became a large delay, as a light rail train was coming into the station as I ran toward the platform, and I hadn't bought a ticket. As I fumbled with the bill acceptor, a helpful fellow passenger with a pocket full of quarters quickly fed the machine $1.75 for me and I got my ticket in time to make that train (I paid her back once we were on board) rather than having to wait for the next one.

It was a quick trip down the line, and I got off at Vienna station, the first one past Lawrence Expressway. My study of bus schedules revealed to me that I could either spend 30-40 minutes waiting for a bus and riding it on a roundabout path that would eventually get me to Oakmead & Lawrence where the Coco's is locate, or I could spend the same amount of time walking the 2.5 km down Lawrence Expressway (click for a map of the route). I decided to walk.

I discovered that much of Lawrence Expressway in this area has no sidewalks, and that you have to make your way over surface streets behind the sound wall. Fortunately, this did not leave me stuck in a cul-de-sac as I'd feared it would, and in a bit over half an hour, I found myself at BASFA.

This is yet another case, like yesterday, of being glad I know I can do this, but not expecting to have to do it very often.
Tags: basfa, trains, transit
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