Testing Overview

SMART is testing trains and signal and safety systems. This work will continue until the start of service in late spring of 2017. Please download and review the SMART Train and Systems Testing Factsheet below.

Please note: this is an active railroad. Freight operates from near Hwy 37 in Novato and northward as far as Windsor. Additionally, SMART trains or maintenance equipment may run from Airport Boulevard in Santa Rosa to Downtown San Rafael at any time. Always Expect a Train.

For information regarding railroad safety education please visit





System Wide Testingwinter 2016 – spring 2017
Running trains and checking the safety signals and gates at railroad crossings.

Simulated Passenger ServiceTBD

Passenger service | by late spring of 2017
Opening date to be announced.





Railroad equipment is standardized throughout the United States by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Standard railroad equipment will be used. Here is what you will experience during testing and as we transition into passenger service:

  • Bells will ring, red lights will flash, gates will lower (at full operations, delays at railroad crossings are similar to waiting for a stoplight – if not quicker. However, during the testing phase trains will be running at varying speeds for testing purposes and delays may be longer. Thank you for your patience during this phase)
  • Keep alert for flaggers and/or activated signals at railroad crossings with minor traffic delays.
  • Train horns will blow 1/4 mile in advance of crossings and continue through the crossing
  • Once passenger service begins, the train bell will ring approaching station platforms

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulates railroads in the United States. It is mandated by the FRA that train horns are blown 1/4 mile before and through a rail crossing. Counties and cities along the SMART corridor can apply to the FRA for a quiet zone. SMART has built each railroad crossing to be quiet zone compliant (Quiet Zone Safety Measures to be Built by SMART). This means that if the FRA approves the application, SMART has done the construction work that is required by the FRA for a rail crossing to be allowed to be part of a quiet zone. For information regarding quiet zones in your area, contact your city or county administrator’s office.


Click here for SMART Corridor Map



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