California: The USDOT has awarded Metrolink 10.7 million USD (9.9 million euros) from the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant programme.
The funds will go towards passenger rail safety and speed improvement projects on the Burbank-Anaheim Rail Corridor, which is one of the busiest in Southern California. The works will improve rail services on the Ventura County and Antelope Valley lines. Burbank and Glendale see almost 100 passenger and freight trains every weekday. California will match the federal grant to cover the balance of the project.
“We are thankful to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, Federal Railroad Administration Administrator Ronald Batory and California's Congressional delegation for supporting this award.
“These funds will support much-needed safety and operational improvements in a heavily travelled rail corridor.”
Funds from the CRISI programme go towards projects that increase the safety, efficiency and reliability of intercity passenger and freight rail systems. This project in LA County will improve the tracks and signal controls between Burbank Airport-South Station and Glendale Station. This will then reduce congestion on the line and improve punctuality. Metrolink shares this track with Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner and Coast Starlight services as well as with Union Pacific freight services.
“I applaud the funding announced by the Federal Railroad Administration to support Metrolink’s important Burbank Corridor Safety and Speed Improvements Project. This project, located in my district, will help Metrolink improve station safety for pedestrians, reduce travel time and improve speed in this crucial intercity and regional rail corridor, and I am thrilled to see it move forward.”
In addition to the works on the Burbank-Anaheim Rail Corridor, Metrolink is also working on implementing SCORE – the Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion Program. It aims to improve the rail infrastructure to improve capacity in time for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) estimates that the SCORE Program will create around 113,100 jobs before the Games along with an estimated 1.36 million jobs by 2050. It has further calculated that SCORE will contribute more than 1.17 trillion USD (1.08 trillion euros) to Southern California’s economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51.7 million metric tons.
“With roadways in Southern California at capacity and population continuing to grow, more people are looking for an environmentally-friendly alternative to driving that also allows them to avoid freeway traffic. This grant allows us to improve the service to our customers, so we can continue our record-breaking trend of ridership growth.”
In 2019 Metrolink had almost 12 million passenger boardings, which it says removed an estimated 9.3 million car journeys and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 130,000 metric tons.
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