STOCKTON, CA – To boost train ticket affordability and streamline service, Amtrak® San JoaquinsSM will offer savings for two types of travelers – customers booking early and for those that travel on off-peak trains. Beginning November 1, 2023, and concluding June 30, 2024, the pilot will provide a variety of fares with more flexible and affordable options.
Amtrak’s extensive customer research found that introducing a broader range of fares could better serve riders. The Fare Pilot will provide travelers with new flexible and affordable options allowing time for potential passengers to familiarize themselves with the revamped system. The aim of the pilot is to better meet Amtrak San Joaquins customer needs.
“Passenger feedback and data-driven insights are pivotal in shaping our services so that we are serving our passengers in the best way possible,” said David Lipari, Deputy Director of Passenger Experience and Communications. “Recent findings from Amtrak underscore the potential to refine our pricing approach for train trips, ensuring that we not only meet but exceed the expectations of our riders. This new system specifically achieves this goal by building in savings for travelers that book early or travel on off-peak trains.”
Amtrak San Joaquins currently operates under a Reserved System, where tickets must be purchased before the train’s departure. Passengers who opt for both the Thruway Bus and train service are charged a combined fare.
The San Joaquins Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA) in alignment with Amtrak initiated a pilot program to assess its potential positive impact on the service. To provide economic relief for riders and drive incremental ridership and revenue, the San Joaquins will continue to offer many of the Every Day and seasonal discounts.
Amtrak San Joaquins to run special discounted trains to Allensworth State Historic Park for 2023 Rededication, October 14
September 30, 2023
(Stockton, CA) – Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park is holding a celebratory “re-dedication” event on Saturday, October 14 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. In partnership, Amtrak San Joaquins has scheduled a special stop at the park for multiple trains, bookable at a 50 percent discount rate to bring travelers to the historically significant Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.
The town of Allensworth was established in 1908 by Colonel Allen Allensworth and at one point was home to more than 300 families. The park is a California state treasure because it was the first town in California to be founded, financed, and governed by African Americans. Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park became a historical landmark in 1974.
The re-dedication is one of four major annual events hosted by Friends of Allensworth (FOA), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to support, promote, and advance the educational and interpretive activities at colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. According to FOA, the re-dedication is “presented to renew the commitment of the citizens of California to help the Department of Parks and Recreation preserve the history of the ethnically diverse contributions made in the development of the state of California and our nation.”
The festival will feature historical re-enactments, storytelling, square dancing, food vendors, crafts, and more.
“We are thrilled to partner once again with Amtrak San Joaquins to reconnect Californians with the historic town of Allensworth,” stated FOA President, Sasha Biscoe. “As a cornerstone of California’s rich history, Allensworth deserves to be experienced by all. Amtrak San Joaquins continues to provide a convenient, cost-effective, and enjoyable journey to this significant location. Mark your calendars for October 14th to partake in a day of historical immersion, as we recommit to preserving this invaluable site, all while traveling in the comfort and style that only Amtrak San Joaquins can offer.”
The southbound trains that will be running for the event include trains 702, 710, 712, and 714. Northbound trains include trains 713, 715, 717, and 719. When purchasing train tickets, a 50 percent discount will automatically be applied to the ticket purchase. Riders can save an additional 50 percent on up to five companion tickets by using the Friends and Family Discount code (V302). Additional discount programs regularly available to riders includes:
- Infants under 2 years of age ride for free
- Children 2-12 years old ride half-price every day
- Seniors (62+ years of age) receive 15% off
- Veterans & active military members receive 15% off
- Disabled riders save 10% off
Visitors attending the re-dedication will be able to take Amtrak San Joaquins trains to the Allensworth station. From there, riders will be met by a free shuttle for the short ride to the main property. The Allensworth station is normally a whistle stop on the San Joaquins available to be booked by groups desiring to visit the park.
Train tickets to Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park can be booked online at amtraksanjoaquins.com. For more information on how to book a group trip to Allensworth, please contact Carmen Setness, community outreach coordinator for San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC), at Carmen@sjjpa.com.
About Allensworth State Historic Park
The town of Allensworth is located in the heart of the Central Valley, about 30 miles north of Bakersfield, and has a rich history that is of interest to students, families, history buffs, minority community organizations, and anyone else looking to spend a fun day exploring the historic community and its restored buildings. In 1908, Allensworth was established as a town founded, financed and governed by African Americans. There were a series of challenges impeding the town’s long-term survival, but it is celebrated as a key historic icon, and in 1974 California State Parks purchased the land in order to maintain it as a site for visitors to learn and explore the Colonel’s house, historic schoolhouse, Baptist church, and library.
About the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA) Since July 2015, SJJPA has been responsible for the management and administration of Amtrak San Joaquins. SJJPA is governed by Board Members representing each of the ten (10) Member Agencies along the 365-mile San Joaquins Corridor. For more information on SJJPA see www.sjjpa.com.
Amtrak San Joaquins is Amtrak’s 6th busiest route with 18 train stations throughout the Central Valley and Bay Area, providing a safe, comfortable and reliable way to travel throughout California. Amtrak San Joaquins is currently running six daily round-trips. In addition to the train service, Amtrak San Joaquins Thruway buses provide connecting service to 135 destinations in California and Nevada including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Napa Valley, Las Vegas and Reno.
History of Allensworth
Allensworth is a historic California town founded, financed, and governed by African Americans. In the southern San Joaquin Valley, a collection of restored and reconstructed building marks the location of the historic town now known as Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. A schoolhouse, a Baptist church, businesses, homes, a hotel, a library, and various other structures symbolize the rebirth of Colonel Allen Allensworth’s dream of an independent, democratic town where African Americans could live in control of their own destiny.
ALLEN ALLENSWORTH – A VISIONARY
Colonel Allen Allensworth – Army chaplain, educator, orator, and town founder – was born into slavery in Louisville, Kentucky on April 7, 1842. Intelligent and eager for knowledge, he was encouraged by his mother to learn to read and write. At 12 years old he was sent away for violating the law that prohibited the education of slaves. In 1862, he fled his enslavement to join the Union Army Forces and was later honorably discharged as a chief petty officer from the U.S. Navy.
After the Civil War, Allensworth achieved the formal education he had been denied. In 1877, he married Josephine Leavell, a schoolteacher, music teacher and gifted musician, and they raised two daughters. In 1886, with a doctorate in theology, Allensworth became a chaplain to the 24th Infantry, one of the Army’s four African American regiments also known as the Buffalo Soldiers. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1906 – the first African American to attain such a high rank.
THE TOWN OF ALLENSWORTH
Retirement found the Colonel lecturing throughout the eastern and mid-western states promoting Booker T. Washington’s philosophy of African American self-reliance. They both firmly believed that through education and hard work African Americans could rise above the effects of slavery, attain greater social stature, and more fully realize their potential as a people.
The Allensworths settled in Los Angeles, and in 1906 Colonel Allensworth met Professor William Payne, an educator whose family had recently moved to Pasadena. With a mutual desire to live in an environment where African Americans could live free from discrimination, they merged their values with those of other pioneers of like mind to establish an independent, self-sufficient colony. They formed the California Colony and Home Promoting Association in 1908 and purchased 800 acres along the Santa Fe rail line from the Pacific Farming Company, at a railway stop called Solita. In 1909, the colony of Allensworth began to rise from the flat countryside. The name and reputation of Colonel Allensworth inspired African Americans who were looking for a better life. People from all over the country, including many who settled in California, came to populate the town.
By 1910, residents had built a small school. Two years later, Allensworth became California’s first African American school district, and in 1914 the town became a judicial district. When rapid growth necessitated the construction of a larger two-room school, Josephine Allensworth turned the former school building into the Mary Dickinson Memorial Library in honor of her mother.
Soon after the settlement began, it became obvious that water would be a problem. In 1913, residents formed the Allensworth Rural Water Company and took control of the water system from the Pacific Farming Company. Unable to raise the funds necessary to drill deeper wells or improve their existing system, the town of Allensworth was seriously impacted by a lowered water table by 1914.
1914 was a difficult year for the town. When the Santa Fe Railroad moved its rail stop from Allensworth to Alpaugh that July, much of Allensworth’s economic base was lost. On September 15, 1914, the town suffered its most significant setback – the tragic death of their inspirational leader. Colonel Allenworth was in Monrovia, California preparing to preach at a small church. As he crossed a street, he was struck by two men on a motorcycle. After the Colonel’s death, the struggle to survive bacame more difficult. Drought, poor crop yields and a failing water supply became hopeless obstacles. When an economic slump followed World War I, residents left in search of a better living. The town’s decline gathered momentum. In the 1960s, after naturally occurring arsenic was found in the water, Allensworth was scheduled for demolition. By 1973, it no longer appeared on the California map.
A TOWN REVIVED
However, the dream of Colonel Allensworth was not dead. The spark has been rekindled by a group of dedicated individuals – including some former residents – who continue to advocate for the growth and development of this vital cultural resource.
COLONEL ALLENSWORTH STATE HISTORIC PARK
In 1974, the California Department of Parks and Recreation purchased land within the historic townsite of Allensworth, and it became Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. Today, a collection of historic, restored, and reconstructed early 20th-century buildings—including the Allensworth’s house, Allensworth School, Baptist church, and library—showcase the dreams of these visionary pioneers.
Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park is on the ancestral lands of the Yokuts, which today includes the federally recognized Tachi Yokut Tribe and Tule River Indian Tribe. Allensworth is within the traditional territory of the Wowol, the area of the beaver. Chawlown was a Wowol villlage near present-day Allensworth that moved with the tides of Pa’a’shu, later called Tulare Lake. Pa’a’shu is the center of the Yokuts’ world and their creation place, despite its destruction. After the invasion, many of the Wowol arrived at the Santa Rosa Rancheria, which belongs to the Tachi Yokut Tribe.
CONTACT THE PARK
Colonel Allensworth SHP
4011 Grant Dr.
Earlimart CA 93219
Our email address is Allensworth@parks.ca.gov.
Visit our non-profit Cooperating Association webpage: Friends of Allensworth
Join Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park on Facebook