Metrolink’s Antelope Valley Line between Los Angeles and Lancaster, going through Santa Clarita, will increase the number of weekday trains from 15 to 30 by 2030, according to Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials.
A recent news release from Metro indicated that the agency and the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) are partnering in a funding agreement. Metro’s board of directors just approved $16.6 million for final design services.
The project, according to the release, “will improve train service frequency and reliability along the 76.5-mile rail corridor while reducing automobile trips and freeway congestion on State Route 14, simultaneously lowering greenhouse gas emissions.”
Metrolink Board Chair Larry McCallon released a statement saying that the Metro and Metrolink connection is a “vital piece of the mobility landscape here in Southern California.”
He added, “By making those connections as frequent and as robust as possible with projects like this, people needing to travel throughout the region will have more reasons to choose the train over their own cars.”
According to the Metro release, Metrolink, with funding in hand, is set to complete the design procurement and award final design contracts for the project as part of Metrolink’s Phase 1 of the “Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion” (SCORE) program.
Projects in that phase include one called “Canyon to Santa Clarita Double Track,” which will see the extension of the Saugus side track with 8,400 feet of new track between Soledad Canyon Road and Golden Oak Road. The side track is a piece of track that sits adjacent to the main track, used to allow two trains traveling in opposite directions on the same track to pass each other.
Also, the “Canyon to Santa Clarita Double Track” plans, as indicated in the release, include an “optional platform-to-platform pedestrian undercrossing configuration” that’s said to improve “operational flexibility and line reliability while providing the first quiet zone in the city of Santa Clarita.”
Similar side track extensions and improvements were mentioned in the release for sections of the Antelope Valley Line in Sylmar and in Lancaster.
According to Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who’s also a Metro and Metrolink board member, the proposed work will make the line faster, safer and more reliable for area residents.
“These projects,” Barger said in the Metro release, “are the result of a partnership between our local cities, Metro, Metrolink and the state to help the Antelope Valley Line realize its fullest potential.”
The 76.5-mile Antelope Valley Line extends from Los Angeles Union Station and terminates in Lancaster with stations in Los Angeles, Glendale, Burbank, Sun Valley, Sylmar, San Fernando, Newhall, Santa Clarita, Acton, Palmdale, Lancaster and unincorporated Los Angeles County. Metro is one of five county transportation agencies in Southern California that fund Metrolink.