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Monterey County Rail Extension Phase 1: Kick Start Project

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The Kick Start project is Phase 1 of the overall Monterey County Rail Extension project. The Kick Start Project is focused on improving the existing Salinas train station to accommodate new passenger rail service connecting Salinas to the San Francisco Bay Area, and making track improvements at Gilroy to allow through trains to stop at the Gilroy train station.

The Salinas train station, also known as the Intermodal Transportation Center, is in downtown Salinas on State Route 183 (Market Street), a walkable distance (0.2 miles) to the Monterey Salinas Transit (MST) bus center and the main employment areas of downtown Salinas. Improvements to the Salinas station to be constructed as part of the Kick Start Project include a new direct signalized access point to downtown via the extension of Lincoln Avenue across Market Street, a five-bay bus transfer area, bike lanes and bike lockers, safe pedestrian crossings and sidewalks, and commuter parking. This station will integrate new passenger rail service to the San Francisco Bay Area with existing service by Amtrak intercity trains and buses, MST local buses, and Greyhound intercity buses.

The Kick Start project also includes a train layover facility in Salinas and improvements to the tracks between Salinas and Gilroy.

Estimated Capital Cost: $81 million

Salinas Station Fact SheetGilroy Station Fact Sheet

Construction Packages

This project is separated into three construction packages:

1: Salinas Station: Lincoln Avenue Extension, circulation, and parking improvements

Current Status: Construction of new signalized access to the train station, new parking & landscaping

Status Update – October 23, 2020

In keeping with our promise to keep you informed, the following is an update for the “Kick Start” phase of the project.

Construction crews will continue work on the following Stage 2 items along the entire stretch of Railroad Avenue (to be renamed Station Place) and toward the end of Palmetto Street:

  • Forming and pouring concrete walls and lateral bracing for stormwater (bioretention) areas.
  • Forming and pouring concrete sidewalks,  curbs, and gutters.
  • Installing irrigation and landscaping soil.
  • Finalizing subgrade preparations for paving that will start near the First Mayor’s House and work toward Palmetto Street.

Lane Closures

There are no planned lane closures at this time for the week of October 26 -  October 30, 2020. The plans for lane closures are subject to change due to weather. Other short term closures may happen to accommodate work in progress.

The Lincoln Avenue extension is now open for public traffic to access the parking lot on the west side of Lincoln Avenue. And, vehicle detector loops are now operating at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and W. Market Street, allowing the traffic signal to operate more efficiently than with a timer system.

Buses will continue using Palmetto Street to Railroad Avenue for passenger drop off and pick up near the Rail Station. Please view the Plan Sheet for Stage 1 and 2 and the Vehicle and Pedestrian Traffic Plan for Stage 2 for visual detail.


Monterey County Rail Extension Newsletter – Vol. 2 – March 2020Monterey County Rail Extension Newsletter – Vol. 1 – March 2019

Progess Photos


2: Salinas Layover Facility

  • Current Status: 75% Design, pending railroad negotiations; Right-of-Way Acquisition
  • Coming Soon: Final Design

3: Gilroy Station & Track Improvements

  • Current Status: 75% Design, pending railroad negotiations
  • Coming Soon: Final Design

Visual Simulations

Christina Watson is the Transportation Agency for Monterey County’s rail program planner. If you have any questions, you can reach her at (831) 775-4406, or via email at: christina (at)