Last of “Freedom Train” Rides Begun by Coretta Scott King Takes Place in California Today


The last of the nation’s “Freedom Train” rides to pay tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. is set to make its final trip in California after 30 years of operation.

Caltrain, a commuter rail service along the San Francisco Peninsula, says the last “Freedom Train” ride is scheduled to depart from San Jose to San Francisco Monday morning.

The train service was among more than two dozen “Freedom Trains” launched nationwide by Coretta Scott King to commemorate the march her husband led from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama nearly 50 years ago. The march demanding voting rights for African-Americans proved instrumental in passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Scott chose the San Jose-to-San Francisco route because the distance between the two cities is roughly equivalent to the 54 miles traveled by King and his fellow protesters.

Organizers said they’re ending the ride because of declining ridership and difficulty obtaining sponsorship for the chartered ride.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley said 1,400 tickets for Monday’s train ride have sold out.


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