Study looks at ways to improve Metrolink’s Antelope Valley Line

Looking toward the mountains from Metrolink's Antelope Valley Line. Photo by Spokker Jones, via Flickr creative commons.

Below is a fascinating report below by Metro’s staff on improving Metrolink’s Antelope Valley Line that serves Burbank, Sylmar, Sun Valley, Santa Clarita, Palmdale and Lancaster. Metro is a major funder of Metrolink.

The report is in response to a motion last year by Supervisor and Metro Board Member and First Vice Chair Mike Antonovich, who has been seeking ways to improve travel times on the line. It’s up to a two-hour trip between Lancaster and downtown Los Angeles on the train, with speeds averaging 40 mph — owing to steep mountain grades, tight turns, single track sections and numerous at-grade crossings along the route.

The Metro report focuses on a variety of improvements that could be made along the line to cut some travel time and improve capacity along the route, which is shared by freight traffic and Amtrak. Parts of the corridor may also be served by high-speed rail, which in its new “blended” approach will depend on Metrolink to connect to Union Station from the bullet train’s Palmdale station.

Metro staff are now going to flesh out a plan to move forward on some of the more affordable upgrades, with Measure R and high-speed rail bonds two possible funding sources. Director Antonovich on Wednesday introduced a motion seeking to speed that process and asking for further information about potential Metrolink upgrades, including a Bob Hope Airport station for the Antelope Valley Line, seamless train travel between the Antelope Valley and San Diego and Ventura and Indio. The motion is posted after the jump.

Here’s the report:

Antelope Valley Line

Director Antonovich Metrolink Motion



7 replies

  1. The run-through tracks also offer great potential for the Antelope-Valley/San Diego service. It would help get rid of that Union Station bottleneck and eliminate the need for train “turns” on certain routes, shaving minutes off the schedules.

  2. There is so much potential on the Antelope Valley Line and there is a clear need for greater transportation capacity in this corridor. Look at the demographics and the links the riders have in the areas in which the trains operate. Aside from the obvious daily commuting grind, there is also a contingent of folks who migrated out to the Palmdale/Lancaster area but still have roots in Los Angeles. Look at Fontana as well for clues.

    • Hi Spokker;

      I couldn’t agree more. The AVL is basically the big transit project in the far northern part of L.A. County and there’s a lot of folks out there — 152,000 in Palmdale, 156,000 in Lancaster and 176,000 in Santa Clarita, to name just three of the cities. The line has the potential to really link those areas to the greater metro area as a whole and I also think that Supervisor Antonovich is absolutely correct to be asking about linkages to Bakersfield. We’ll be watching these studies and this project closely.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. Steve: why the use of Scribd? It doesn’t always load properly for me, and the user interface is not the best. I would prefer links to the PDF files, personally.

    • Hi Karl;

      I’m glad to also include links to pdfs. I like Scribd because I can easily post the entire document on the blog. I am aware that some older browsers have issues with it. So I’ll try to do a better job of including the link to the pdf, too.


      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  4. Error. There is no Amtrak service on these tracks (except when the Coast Daylight/Starlight is occasionally detoured via Tehachapi due to trackwork on the Coast Line).

    • Hi Hans;

      There is Amtrak service on the tracks used by the Antelope Valley Line between Union Station and Burbank.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source