Metrolink and Amtrak announced last week they have executed a final contract for Amtrak to operate Metrolink trains on all seven lines of the Los Angeles-based commuter rail agency beginning June 26, 2010.
“Moving to Amtrak as our new operating contractor is another important step in our multi-faceted public safety program. Amtrak brings a depth of experience and commitment to passenger safety that we share at Metrolink,” said Metrolink Board Chairman Keith Millhouse. “We look forward to having Amtrak provide our riders with a level of safety, service and professionalism that is second to none,” he added.
The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), the governing board of Metrolink, contracted with Amtrak, in part, because of its significant commitment to passenger safety and multiple safety programs that will complement and enhance the safety efforts undertaken by SCRRA.
“We are pleased to move forward with this board action,” said Metrolink CEO Eric Haley. “The depth of relevant experience and management support Amtrak has for our operation is unique in the passenger rail environment and we look forward to working with them again in this capacity.”
“Amtrak is proud of our safety record and we are dedicated to providing excellent and efficient service to Metrolink and its passengers,” said Amtrak President/CEO Joseph Boardman.
The final agreement includes an initial four-year operating contract with the potential for two additional three-year extensions. Amtrak is to provide the train and engine crews required to operate the locomotives and railcars owned by Metrolink, including the new equipment being delivered that is built with state of the art crash energy management systems designed to enhance protection for passengers and crew.
Over the coming weeks and months Amtrak will work closely with Metrolink, Metrolink’s current operator and its employees, and other contractors to ensure a smooth transition.
SCRRA decided to enter into this contract with Amtrak because of the railroad’s unique qualifications and experience in intercity and commuter rail operations and its excellent safety performance, present operation of intercity trains over four of the seven lines that comprise Metrolink service and prior experience as the original operator of Metrolink trains from 1992 to 2005.