The Point: Early environmental studies are under way    

Rail service between Los Angeles and the Coachella Valley? The Riverside County Transportation Commission provided an update to its Technical Advisory Committee on May 31 regarding the possible addition of Amtrak intercity passenger rail service between Los Angeles Union Station and Indio.

RCTC and project partners, the Federal Railroad Administration and Caltrans, are conducting “program level” state and federal environmental studies for the proposed Coachella Valley-San Gorgonio Pass Rail Corridor Service.

They also are preparing a service development plan to conceptualize how the service would operate through the corridor and what infrastructure improvements would be needed.

The service is envisioned to provide a safe, reliable, convenient intercity passenger rail service for residents, businesses and visitors. Two daily round trips are proposed, using the Burlington Northern Santa Fe San Bernardino Subdivision Line on the west end of the corridor and the Union Pacific Yuma Subdivision Line on the east end of the corridor. Up to six station area locations also will be evaluated.

The current work is one of the early steps for project delivery. Once the “program level” environmental studies are completed, more detailed project level environmental studies and preliminary engineering would occur, followed by final design and construction. Pending completion of these steps and available funding, service could start as early as 2024.

Public scoping meetings about the proposed project were held in October 2016. For questions and more information, please click here.