Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Triple-track project moves ahead in California

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor

Caltrans joined BNSF Railway and Amtrak Tuesday in the groundbreaking for a triple-track segment that will add 3.8 miles of track in the Los Angeles area at a cost of $38 million. It is part of a larger, $163 million, 15-mile main line track capacity expansion between the cities of Commerce and Fullerton that will add a hard track along two existing lines.

The construction is funded by an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant from the Federal Railroad Administration. The project is divided into eight segments of main line. Completion will permit expanded intercity passenger and commuter service through the corridor.

"In a densely populated urban region such as Los Angeles, passenger and freight rail lines often compete for track access," said Acting Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. "This project makes it possible for us to better serve the public by helping to alleviate congestion and improve on-time performance."

"BNSF and Caltrans share a long-term commitment to improve the efficiency of rail transportation in California," said D.J. Mitchell, BNSF Assistant Vice President, Passenger Services. "Investments such as this will help improve rail passenger service, while maintaining consistent and reliable rail freight capabilities within the region."

"Amtrak continues to look forward to the implementation of all track improvements to the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor," said Michael Chandler, Amtrak General Superintendent, Southwest Division. "The Triple-Track Project will improve the on-time performance for the Amtrak California Pacific Surfliner trains operating through the corridor and our passengers are the ones who will benefit the most from these improvements. We would like to thank our partnerships with the BNSF Railway, Orange County Transportation Authority, and California Department of Transportation."