Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

  by NJTRailfan
Are there any expansion plans or equipment buys is the San Diego Coaster, Cal Train and Metro Link are planning? I know Metro Link is quite huge. In comaprison the Coaster and Cal Train look quite small compared to LA's Metro Link.

  by jg greenwood
Have you thought of visiting the web sites of all the commuter lines you've inquired about this morning?

  by NJTRailfan
I did but they didn't have a "to Do List" like NJT does o ntheir website. Nothign but schedules, map of the system,etc but now future construction plans. It simply wasn't on there. So I was hoping anyone on the forum could help me out if they know anythign abotu these California commuter trains.


  by Irish Chieftain
As far as Caltrain goes, they're covered on the Bay Area Passenger Rail forum. You might also want to try searching the California Department of Transportation website (CalTrans) using Google, as well (to use Google, type your keywords followed by site:www.dot.ca.gov, e.g. caltrain expansion site:www.dot.ca.gov). California's a far larger state than NJ is, so they are not going to have one single operating agency covering their rail projects (NJT is directly tied in with NJDOT by comparison); you'd have to default to CalTrans.

Metrolink's a bit tricky, so I resorted to Google. Ended up finding this PDF on the Los Angeles MTA website dating back to 2001 (not the Metrolink website).

No plans for expanding Coaster service that I can see. The San Diego Trolley's due to get some expansion, though, although specifics online are a bit scant...

  by pennsy
Hi All,

While Metrolink is doing quite well on the San Bernardino Line, essentially making it double tracked, the Riverside line is languishing. The law suit they have with Union Pacific is still going on, and Metrolink is cutting back on its service on that line, especially on weekends. ie no service. UP will NOT give priority to the Metrolink trains, and so the passengers cannot keep to their schedules. Metrolink has a shuttle service from Riverside to San Bernardino, and this seems to have solved the commuter problem for arriving on time. Accordingly, during rush hours you will see an F-59 hauling four to six Bombardier cars instead of the usual three or four. Last time I took Metrolink during rush hours by the time we got to LATC it was standing room only.

  by Ashman
Coaster has no major plans for the future. With TransitAmerica taking over operations next month there are some schedule adjustments being considered, but no new equipment purchases or lines being considered.

Now, as far as lines ARE concerned there is rumor that a local government entitity wants to build a Freight line connecting Chula Vista Border crossing to San bernardino via El Cajon, SR67, Escondido, and the I15 (paralleling the roads). It's pure speculation, but If this line were to bear fruit it's possible Coaster could come up with an East County line heading North-South stopping in

Escondido, Poway, Lakeside, El Cajon, Spring Valley, Lemon Grove, Chula Vista.

The Coastal and East County lines would be connected East-West with the Trolley (Orange and Green lines) and SPRINTER. Similarly, new equipment would have to be purchased, but this is at least 10-15 years away if it ever comes to fruitation..

Now, for the impending stuff (That is actually on the drawing board)

Herzog has reviewed the service and rumor amongst employees is that Friday late night service could be expanded to Saturday as well, and 657 which leaves Downtown San Diego at 9:45 PM will run every night as opposed to 659 which runs game nights only at 10:15 PM, I don't believe day service is to change

  by Easy
As part of Measure M the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is buying approximately 50 new cars and a dozen or more new locomotives/cab cars so that they can introduce 30 minute service throughout the day to the Orange County portion of the line only. (IOW the trains will not go all the way to LA Union Station so the new service will be somewhat less than useful for many commuters.)

Currently the OC line is at least double tracked between LA and Fullerton, but after that portions are double and some are single. They are upgrading to all double track between Fullerton and Irvine (or maybe San Juan Capistrano?). They are also building new parking structures and getting rid of a few rail crossings.

I've noticed that the new tracks have joints instead of continuous welded rail. I don't know much about the reasons for using joints, but had heard that most commuter rail systems were switching to welded rail. Is there some geological reason (earthquakes, etc.) that Metrolink would use joints or is this totally a cost decision?

  by lensovet
as far as finding information on these agencies, I find the best course of action is to go to their board meetings section of the site and browse through archived meeting minutes 1-2 months back. if something is being actively considered, including equipment purchases and system upgrades, chances are it will be in the minutes.