The Los Angeles conurbation’s Metrolink has announced that the California Transportation Commission has awarded it $25.7 million in state rail funds to help fund new passenger cars, track improvements and upgrade ticket vending machines.
About half of the Metrolink-designated state rail funds approved are earmarked for various track and station improvements in the five-county commuter rail system. The remainder is for the purchase of new cars and locomotives. Metrolink expects the projects to be completed within the next 12 to 24 months.
Three miles of track will be built along the Orange County Line at a site which parallels the I-5 Santa Ana Freeway in the City of Commerce. The $7 million rail construction project will allow an increase in the number of trains along the rail corridor, designated as the second busiest in the nation with 84 freight and passenger trains daily.
$1.5 million for two separate crossover tracks in Van Nuys and Glendale.
$11.5 million for 30 new bilevel railcars from Bombardier to meet the increasing ridership demand. The new cars are expected to begin to arrive in early 2001.
Additional parking and related improvements to stations in Van Nuys and Oxnard along the Ventura County Line, total $4.1 million.
$1.6 million for improved ticket vending machines that sell tickets for riders using any combination of Metrolink, Amtrak and other transit services, in one transaction.
The state transportation commission funds awarded to Metrolink were part of a $129 million request for rail projects statewide which were on Governor Gray Davis' recommended list for transit and transportation projects. Metrolink operates 130 daily trains serving 46 train stations throughout six counties.
On an average day, 28,000 daily commuters have come to rely on the long-distance commuter rail service that spans 416 miles of track throughout the Southern California region.
For more information, visit Metrolink at www.metrolinktrains.com.