The Way to San Jose

San Jose Travel Blog

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Arrival at San Jose

On Monday afternoon I was feeling up for a bit of adventure.  So, I decided to venture out of San Francisco and find the way to San Jose via a CalTrain commuter train. I caught a trolley bus near Union Square in downtown that would take me over to Fourth and Townsend, the CalTrain station. The trolley buses were very San Francisco: rubber-tired buses that drew power from an overhead trolley wire, like a tram. All was well until a disembarking passenger suddenly got into a shouting match with the bus driver. We sat there while the passenger vented and the driver sat and listened. Needless to say we other passengers felt very awkward. Soon, many bus passengers started getting worried (and angry) about missing their train home.

San Jose station (1935)
(The perpitrator looked like a very cool and laid-back San Francisco type. You can never tell who is going to be set off!)

We made it to the CalTrain station in time for the train to San Jose. I bought a ticket from a ticket machine and boarded. Soon we were rolling out of San Franciso and along the peninsula, passing the suburbs of Burlingame, San Mateo, and Belmont. The train continued on through the heart of the famous Silicon Valley: Palo Alto, Stanford, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara before reaching San Jose, 47 miles (79 km) from San Francisco in not quite an hour and a half.

The San Jose station is interesting architectually. Nearly every railway station in California was designed in the Mission Revivial style, with red tile roofs and mission-like appurtances. But San Jose's is in the Italian Renaissance Revival style.

I spent a bit of time looking around the station area, but did not go to downtown San Jose. (It would be easy to do that today via the Santa Clara light rail.) I found my way back aboard a northbound train and returned to San Francisco, my curiosity about finding the way to San Jose satisfied.

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Arrival at San Jose
Arrival at San Jose
San Jose station (1935)
San Jose station (1935)
Peninsula Commute trains
Peninsula Commute trains
San Jose
photo by: Deannimal