Millbrae station

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Bay Area Rapid Transit Caltrain
Millbrae station from Millbrae Avenue, July 2018.JPG
A southbound Caltrain train at Millbrae in July 2018
Location 200 North Rollins Road (BART)
100 California Drive (Caltrain)
Millbrae, California
United States
Coordinates 37°36′01″N 122°23′12″W / 37.6003°N 122.3867°W / 37.6003; -122.3867Coordinates: 37°36′01″N 122°23′12″W / 37.6003°N 122.3867°W / 37.6003; -122.3867
Line(s) BART W-Line
Peninsula Subdivision[1]
Platforms 2 side platforms (Caltrain)
1 side platform, 1 island platform (BART)
Tracks 2 (Caltrain)
3 (BART)
Connections Bus transport Alliance shuttles
Bus transport Caltrain: Broadway Millbrae Shuttle
Bus transport SamTrans: ECR, SFO, 397
Bus transport Sierra Point Shuttle
Parking 2,900 spaces
Bicycle facilities 30 lockers (BART)
Racks available (Caltrain)
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Fare zone Fare Zone 2 (Caltrain)
Opened 1863-64[2]
Rebuilt 1890; 1907[2]
June 22, 2003 (modern intermodal terminal)
Previous names 17 Mile House (until c. 1865)[2][3]
Passengers (FY 2016) 6,788 exits/day[4] (BART)
Passengers (February 2017) 3,378[5] per weekday (Caltrain)
Preceding station   Bart-logo.svg Bay Area Rapid Transit   Following station
TerminusRichmond–​Daly City/​Millbrae
Weekdays only
toward Richmond
Weeknights & weekends only.
Caltrain roundel.svg Caltrain
(weekends only)
toward Tamien
toward Tamien
Gilroy during peak hours
Baby Bullet
Peak, Pattern A
Baby Bullet
Peak, Pattern B
toward Tamien
Future service
Preceding station   California High-Speed Rail   Following station
Phase I
toward Anaheim or Merced

Millbrae station is an intermodal transit station serving Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Caltrain, located in suburban Millbrae, California. The station is the terminal station for BART on the San Francisco Peninsula, served by the Richmond–Daly City/Millbrae line on nights and weekends. It is served by all Caltrain service except for a small number of limited-stop trains. The station is also served by SamTrans bus service, Alliance and Caltrain shuttle buses, and other shuttles.

17 Mile House station opened in 1864 on land deeded by Darius Ogden Mills, and was renamed Millbrae the next year. The station was rebuilt in 1890 and 1907 after twice burning down. The 1907-built station was threatened with demolition in 1976, but was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. A modern intermodal terminal opened in 2002, connecting BART and Caltrain for the first time. The older station building was restored for use as a railway museum, which opened in 2004.

Station layout[edit]

Two BART trains at Millbrae, with the left train in revenue service

Millbrae station has five tracks and three platforms at ground level, with a fare concourse on a mezzanine level above. The Caltrain tracks are on the west side of the station. The westernmost (southbound) track has a side platform; the northbound track uses half of an island platform shared with BART. South of the Millbrae Avenue bridge, the northbound track splits in two to form a triple-track section to allow passing trains. The northbound platform extends past the BART area as a side platform, and curves to serve the diverging track.[2]

BART has three tracks; the western track serves the east side of the northbound Caltrain platform (with faregates between the two systems), allowing a cross-platform connection between northbound service. The other two tracks serve an island platform. Because ridership at Millbrae is lower than expected, only the western track is used in regular service; the other two tracks are used for train storage.[6]

A 2,200-space parking garage (with direct access to the mezzanine), busway, and surface parking lots are located on the east side of the station. A smaller busway and parking lot for Caltrain are on the west side.[7]

The BART platform at Millbrae has six sculptures partially embedded in concrete blocks, with each figure representing a different era in community history.[8] Forty-two terrazzo benches installed at the station show scenes of local nature and history.[9][10]


The old Southern Pacific station near the current intermodal terminal
Civic Center on display in 2018

In 1862, after buying a section of Rancho Buri Buri from José de la Cruz Sánchez, Darius Ogden Mills deeded land to the under-construction San Francisco and San Jose Railroad in exchange for a station to allow guests to visit his estate. The line opened in October 1863; the adobe 17 Mile House station opened in 1864 and was renamed Millbrae the next year.[2][3] The line was soon taken over by the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP) for its Peninsula Commute service. The station burned in 1890.[2]

The station burned again in 1906 and was replaced with a two-story colonnade-style depot of standard SP design the next year.[11][12] It was located on the west side of the tracks just south of Millbrae Avenue. In 1976, preparing to discontinue the money-losing Peninsula Commute (which instead became publicly funded as Caltrain), the SP proposed to tear down the station.[2][13] However, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Southern Pacific Depot on September 1, 1978 after efforts by the newly formed Millbrae Historical Society.[12] In August 1980, the building was moved 200 feet (61 m) south to make room for a widening of Millbrae Avenue.[2][13]

As part of the BART SFO Extension, a new intermodal terminal for BART, Caltrain, and Samtrans was built in Millbrae just north of Millbrae Avenue. BART service to the $70 million facility began on June 22, 2003.[14][2] It was expected to have some 16,500 daily BART boardings by 2017, but has consistently fallen well short of projections, with under 7,000 daily boardings by then.[15] Millbrae is planned to be a California High-Speed Rail station. Senate Bill 1029, passed in 2012, provided funds to lengthen the Caltrain platforms for future high-speed rail trains.[16]

Caltrain no longer needed the historic station building after operations moved to the modern station. The Millbrae Historical Society negotiated with Caltrain to use the building as a museum in exchange for maintaining it. The Millbrae Train Museum opened in October 2004.[13] In 2006, Pullman car Civic Center, built in 1941 for the City of San Francisco, was moved adjacent to the station and opened as an exhibit.[17][18] The Society plans to acquire a locomotive and construct a section of track to run excursion service.[17][13]

Transit connections[edit]

The east busway at Millbrae

Millbrae station is served by a number of bus routes and shuttles:[7]

A large busway is located on the east side of the station. It is used by the Burlingame-Bayside Shuttle, Foster City Shuttle, SamTrans routes 397, the Sierra Point Shuttle, and private shuttles serving Genentech's South San Francisco campus and various airport hotels. A smaller busway adjacent to the southbound Caltrain platform is used by the Burlingame-North Shuttle, Broadway Millbrae Shuttle, and SamTrans route SFO. SamTrans route ECR stops on El Camino Real to the west of the station.[7]


  1. ^ SMA Rail Consulting (April 2016). "California Passenger Rail NETWORK SCHEMATICS" (PDF). California Department of Transportation. p. 13. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Duncan, Mark (2005). The San Francisco Peninsula Railroad Commute Service: Past, Present, and Future (PDF). Askmar. pp. 57–59. 
  3. ^ a b "Millbrae (1978)". Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board. 2013. 
  4. ^ "Monthly Ridership Reports". Bay Area Rapid Transit District. Retrieved February 6, 2017. 
  5. ^ "2017 Annual Count Key Findings Report" (PDF). Caltrain. 2017. 
  6. ^ "Station Map: Millbrae Station" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Commission. July 31, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "Transit Stops: Millbrae Station" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Commission. October 10, 2017. 
  8. ^ King, John (22 June 2003). "Surprises await riders at new BART stations". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 15 December 2017. 
  9. ^ "Millbrae BART Station Art Unveiling & Open House" (Press release). Bay Area Rapid Transit7. April 29, 2003. 
  10. ^ Jones, Carolyn (October 25, 2002). "Putting the art in BART / Mosaics, murals and steel cows brighten up Oakland, Berkeley stations". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  11. ^ Bender, Henry E., Jr. (2013). Southern Pacific Lines Standard-Design Depots. Berkeley and Wilton, California: Signature Press. p. 241. ISBN 9781930013339. 
  12. ^ a b Baxter, Frances (December 2, 1977). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory -- Nomination Form". National Park Service. 
  13. ^ a b c d Somers, Janet (February 4, 2005). "Train museums are just the ticket for railroad aficionados / Old Millbrae depot displays everything from china to chairs". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  14. ^ "BART Chronology January 1947 – March 2009" (PDF). San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District. March 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 13, 2013. 
  15. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (July 4, 2017). "Millbrae BART Station ridership isn't near original expectations". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  16. ^ "Connectivity & Bookend Projects California". High-Speed Rail Authority. 
  17. ^ a b "Millbrae Train Museum". Millbrae Historical Society. 
  18. ^ "Millbrae Train Museum". City of Millbrae. August 10, 2017. 

External links[edit]