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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

49ers Express: Stockton to Santa Clara Train Caters to Football Fans -- But No Booze Allowed

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 11:59 AM

click to enlarge All aboard! - UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

In Europe, where the terms "football" and "rail travel" have different connotations than they do here, rail travelers to distant football games might opt to hop the "football special." 

This was a train specially set aside for fans of the road team. And, if the game was lousy, getting there really would be half the fun. Football specials could be parties on wheels (but not for the people stuck cleaning them afterward). 

Now, it seems, the Bay Area will have a football special of its own. Fans of the 49ers living in the Stockton area can now buy tickets for a homegrown football special on the Altamont Corridor Express line

The Niners' debut season in Santa Clara figures to be competitive. And that's good. Because you won't have the opportunity to drown your sorrows on the long ride back to San Joaquin County following a dreary loss. The very first item on the FAQ section -- perhaps this is the most frequently asked of the frequently asked questions -- is "Is alcohol allowed on the train?" 

It is not. 

In fact, the answer goes even farther: "Alcohol is not permitted or being sold on the train at this time."

That means passengers who make a point of not operating a motor vehicle on the lengthy journey between San Joaquin Valley and Silicon Valley are not even technically permitted to bring alcohol on board the train to enjoy later, let alone drink it while speeding through the heart of California. 

Our calls to the rail line to query whether this is an enforceable policy have not yet been returned. 

Tickets will run between $20 and $30 round-trip, based on where you hop on and off. But at least that earns one a seat; Niners tickets are jaw-droppingly expensive, even in the standing-room section

Tickets are not refundable. And, should the Niners games grow interminable via overtime or other unforeseen delays, this could lead to lots of extra time to drink in the parking lot. From the aforementioned FAQ section

The train arrival and departure time cannot be modified due to  a 49ers delay or if the game goes into overtime.  Since ACE shares tracks with UP and Capital Corridor, train schedules cannot be changed.

Punt, punt, pass

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more


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