Around Town | January 8, 2016 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - January 8, 2016

Around Town

DREAM LIVES ON ... Last January, the Bay Area's Freedom Train to honor the civil rights legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made its final trip after more than 30 years. The train ride from San Jose to San Francisco featured singing and speeches and gave the community a chance to honor King's work. Organized by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley, the Freedom Train was started by King's late widow Coretta Scott King to commemorate the 54 miles marched by her husband and other civil rights activists from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in March 1965, and was the last of its kind in the nation. This year, in response to residents' desires to continue the service, the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation and Caltrain have created a new and free commemorative train ride to "carry on the spirit of the late Coretta Scott King," according to a Caltrain announcement. The new "Celebration Train" will make its debut trip up the Peninsula on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 18. The train will provide free service to those attending the MLK2016 celebration event in San Francisco. There will be onboard activities, according to Caltrain. The concept of the new train is the same as the defunct Freedom Train, Caltrain spokeswoman Tasha Bartholomew said. The difference is the host organization. "At the request of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley, Caltrain agreed not to use the Freedom Train branding because it was bestowed upon them by the late Coretta Scott King, and we respect that," Bartholomew said. "As a new partnership with the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation ... we all thought it best to rebrand and use the new name." The train will depart from the San Jose Diridon Caltrain Station at 9:45 a.m. It will make stops in Palo Alto at 10:05 a.m. and San Mateo at 10:22 a.m. before arriving in San Francisco by 10:55 a.m. There is no special southbound service, but Celebration Train tickets will be accepted on southbound trains departing San Francisco after 1 p.m. that day, according to Caltrain. For ticket registration, visit

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