Currently the only passenger service in the Coachella Valley is a thrice-weekly long distance train operated by Amtrak between Los Angeles and Florida. This train is known as the "Sunset Limited". The Sunset Limited train operates through this area in the very early hours of the morning in both directions and primarily serves the leisure and tourism market.
The Coachella Valley Association of Governments and RCTC have entered into an agreement to establish funding to support a Coachella Valley Rail program. Providing some form of passenger rail service to the Coachella Valley has been a long-standing priority for the area for more than two decades with the first studies completed in the early 1990's. In 2010, RCTC reaffirmed its formal support for implementation and expansion of intercity Amtrak rail service to the Coachella Valley and the Pass Area. Although stops and station locations are yet to be determined, the initial service plan would be for two daily round trips along the corridor. The next round of studies will look at various track alignments, routes, station alternatives, and ridership forecasts. The primary effort for this will be the initiation of a service development plan. The true success of this effort will be to develop comprehensive and convincing planning documents that will allow Coachella Valley Rail to compete for limited state and federal rail funds. A Short Range Transit Plan identifying how the eastern county rail funds will support the development of an eastern county rail program will be developed in 2014.
RCTC is working closely with the Coachella Valley and the Pass Areas on this issue and supports the expansion of rail service to additional areas of Riverside County.