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4th & King Street Railyards Study

Fourth and King Street Railyards aerial photo

4th and King Railyards Study

4th & King Railyards Study

December 2012


The Planning Department received funding from the San Francisco County Transportation Authority to produce a technical study of development on the 4th/King railyards, including explorations of the potential physical and economic feasibility for such development as well as revenue potential to help fund rail infrastructure such as the Caltrain Extension to downtown.

In early 2006, a Mayor’s Interagency Working Group which was organized to review the Transit Center Project (Transit Center and Downtown Caltrain Extension “DTX”), including its funding program and development assumptions, recommended not only that a plan be developed for the area around the Transit Center but also identified the need to study air-rights development at the 4th/King rail station and yard, especially in light of the need to reconfigure the facilities to accommodate the DTX, Caltrain Electrification and California High-Speed Rail.

This study, which was initiated in mid-2010 and completed at the end of 2012 was intended to be a launching point to inform future detailed analysis that can take place once the ultimate configuration of the railyards is more certain. Caltrain is currently engaged in planning for electrification of its service and both Caltrain and the California High Speed Rail Authority are engaged in planning for the implementation of a blended rail service on the Peninsula and into San Francicsco. As such, this development study was a high-level initial technical analysis based on information published and known to date about the future configuration of the approximately 19-acre railyards.

Fourth and King Railyards ortho photoAs plans are evolving for Caltrain electrification and High Speed Rail service, the study, conducted by a consulting team led by the firm AECOM, examined two bracketed scenarios:

  1. a maximal footprint for rail infrastructure on the site based on published plans as of 2011; and

  2. a minimal rail footprint scenario in which storage needs are handled off-site and station facilities consist of a new subway station adjacent to the site that is planned as part of the DTX.

The site is partially within the Mission Bay Redevelopment Area and abuts several other adopted or ongoing planning efforts, including East SoMa, Showplace/Potrero, Western SoMa, and Central Corridor. The Study analysis was informed by existing and potential future conditions around the site based on these various planning efforts.


Links and background information:

Contact contact

Joshua Switzky, Project Manager
San Francisco Planning Department
1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94103

Telephone: (415) 575-6815


4th & King Railyards Study (December 2012) - PDF 16MB


High Speed Rail in San Francisco

Mayor’s Interagency Transbay Working Group
Final Report - PDF
Graphic Presentation ( click on “Item 8” )

Transbay Joint Powers Authority—Transit Center and Downtown Caltrain Extension Program


Mission Bay Redevelopment Area

East SoMa Area Plan

Showplace Square/Potrero Area Plan

West SoMa Citizens Planning Task Force

Central Corridor Plan


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