The Point: The Riverside-Downtown Station Layover Facility is expected to open in April

It’s all about the space. In the past, RCTC and Metrolink have struggled with having enough room to store and maintain trains at the end of each shift. Expanding the Riverside-Downtown Station Layover Facility will solve that problem.

RCTC began construction last April of the expanded layover facility, which is scheduled to open next month. The facility will allow crews to complete minor maintenance on locomotives and rail cars on-site, refuel, and deep-clean the passenger cars to meet Metrolink’s health and safety standards.

All of this will help trains be on their way, bright and early, for commuters bound for Los Angeles and Orange County. The Riverside-Downtown Station is the only station other than Los Angeles Union Station to serve three Metrolink lines, the 91/Perris Valley Line, the Inland Empire/Orange County Line, and the Riverside Line.

Trains leave the station as early as 4:35 a.m. on weekdays, so saving time the night before adds efficiency.

Crews have been working during the past year to extend the existing layover facility tracks, constructing second and third tracks for train storage, and building drainage facilities, electrical systems, lighting fixtures, security fencing, access gates, utility relocations, and water and sewer connections.

As the southern California region continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and service begins to increase, the improved layover facility will be vital to maintaining and expanding passenger rail service to and from Riverside County. The approximately $6 million project was funded with a series of Federal Transit Administration grants.