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The Antelope Valley Line is a commuter rail line that serves the Northern Los Angeles County area as part of the Metrolink system. The line is rural in character because it travels through the sparsely populated Soledad Canyon between Santa Clarita and Palmdale, serving the small community of Acton along the way. Other portions of its route parallel the former US Route 6, now San Fernando Road and Sierra Highway.

Antelope Valley Line
Palmdale Transportation Center.jpg
Overview
TypeCommuter rail
SystemMetrolink
StatusOperating
LocaleNorthern Greater Los Angeles Area
TerminiLos Angeles Union Station
Lancaster
Stations12
Daily ridership5,793 (Q1 2017-18) [1]
Operation
OpenedOctober 26, 1992
OwnerMetrolink (track; Los Angeles-Lancaster) [2]
Operator(s)Metrolink
CharacterMostly surface-level with one underground section.
Technical
Line length76.6 miles (123.3 km)[1]
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Operating speed79 mph (127 km/h) maximum
35 mph (56 km/h) average[1]
Route map
Lancaster
Palmdale
Greyhound Lines
Vincent Grade/Acton
Via Princessa
Santa Clarita
Newhall
San Fernando Tunnel
Sylmar/San Fernando
Sun Valley
Burbank Airport–North
Hollywood Burbank Airport
Downtown Burbank
Glendale
Amtrak Greyhound Lines
Los Angeles Union Station
Amtrak LAMetroLogo.svg

Handicapped/disabled access All stations are accessible

HistoryEdit

The line began service on October 26, 1992, and was called the Santa Clarita Line at the time. It was one of three original lines in the Metrolink system along with Ventura County and San Bernardino lines.

The route initially ran from Los Angeles Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles to the Santa Clarita station making stops only at Glendale and Downtown Burbank stations.[3]

Earthquake traffic reliefEdit

Since the beginning of service, Metrolink had plans to extend the line north to the Antelope Valley but these plans were expedited by almost 10 years following the 1994 Northridge earthquake.[3] The earthquake caused the collapse of the freeway connector of State Route 14 (the Antelope Valley Freeway) onto Interstate 5 (the Golden State Freeway) at the Newhall Pass interchange, forcing all traffic to use the parallel 2 lane truck bypass that was unaffected by the quake. With funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency the Southern California Regional Rail Authority constructed an emergency extension of the line to Lancaster to help relieve the traffic bottleneck. The U.S. Navy Seabees construction battalion and crews from the L.A. County Public Works Department were able to construct the stations in just a few days, compared to the normal three to six months. Emergency stations in Lancaster and Palmdale were both built in just three days and Metrolink started operating trains one week after the earthquake struck. Over the next five weeks additional emergency stations were added in Sylmar/San Fernando, Vincent Grade/Acton and Santa Clarita (Via Princessa).[3] While most of the emergency stations have since been replaced with permanent stations, the Via Princessa station still uses the same platform built after the earthquake.

Service expansionEdit

Saturday service on the Antelope Valley Line has been operating since 1999,[4] Sunday service was added in September 2007.[5] As of August 2013, weekend service has expanded to 6 trains on Saturdays and Sundays.[6] Arrivals at LA Union Station are timed allow passengers to connect with Amtrak trains and trains on Metrolink's Orange County and San Bernardino lines.[6]

Express service was added to the line in May 2011.[7] Two express trains operate in the peak commute direction between Palmdale and Los Angeles (one southbound train in the morning, one northbound train in the evening). Express trains are about 18 minutes faster than trains that stop at all stations.

On April 30, 2015, Metrolink announced it will be offering discounted fares to riders on the Antelope Valley Line beginning July 1, 2015 as part of a pilot program. The fare pilot program, which will be in place for six months following the program's launch, will include several new ticket pricing options for riders on the Antelope Valley Line. There will be a 25 percent reduction in fares on all ticket types for trips along the corridor from Los Angeles to Lancaster, with the exception of the Weekend Day Pass, which will remain at its current $10 fare. In addition, a new "station-to-station" fare will be introduced in which riders traveling during off-peak hours (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) will be able to purchase a one-way ticket to travel between stations for $2 per station. This fare is designed to encourage local trips using Metrolink as an additional mobility option complementing local bus service.[8]

A new Burbank Airport–North station opened in 2018 to serve Antelope Valley Line passengers traveling to Hollywood Burbank Airport. The station is located near the intersection of San Fernando Boulevard and Hollywood Way, with a free shuttle bus for passengers to the airport terminal located approximately one mile away from the station site.[9]

In July 2019, additional late evening train service and bi-directional service were being considered.[10]

ServiceEdit

The Antelope Valley Line has 19 trains en route to Union Station and 19 trains en route to Lancaster on weekdays and six trains each way on weekends.[11] As a commuter rail service, most weekday trains on the Antelope Valley line run during the peak morning and evening hours with the majority of trains operating southbound toward Los Angeles in the morning and northbound away from Los Angeles in the evening.[11] There is limited mid-day and reverse commute service (northbound in the morning and southbound in the evening). Weekend service is more evenly spaced throughout the day.

As of the June 2016 timetable, only eight trains operate the full route from Lancaster to Los Angeles on weekdays and nine trains operate the full route from Los Angeles to Lancaster. Four southbound trains on weekdays originate in Palmdale and end in Newhall. The next available train with service to Los Angeles arrives in Newhall within 45 minutes. Most of the short turn trains have connecting North County TRANSporter bus service that takes passengers to or from the Palmdale station. All weekend trains operate the full route.

Two trains on weekdays operate on an express schedule in the peak commute direction (one train southbound in the morning and one train northbound in the evening) between Palmdale and Los Angeles making stops only at the Santa Clarita, Sylmar/San Fernando and Downtown Burbank stations.

StationsEdit

Station Location Address Connections
Los Angeles County
Lancaster Lancaster 44812 N. Sierra Hwy, Lancaster 93534
Palmdale Palmdale 39000 Clock Tower Plaza Dr, Palmdale 93550
Vincent Grade/Acton Acton 730 W. Sierra Hwy, Acton 93550
Via Princessa Santa Clarita 19201 Via Princessa, Santa Clarita 91321
Santa Clarita 22122 Soledad Cyn Rd, Santa Clarita 91350
Newhall 24300 Railroad Ave, Santa Clarita 91321
Sylmar/San Fernando Sylmar 12219 Modungo Dr, Sylmar 91342
Sun Valley Sun Valley 8360 San Fernando Rd, Sun Valley 91352
Burbank Airport–North Burbank 3600 N. San Fernando Blvd, Burbank 91505
Burbank–Downtown 201 N. Front St, Burbank 91502
Glendale Glendale 400 W. Cerritos Ave, Glendale 91204

  Amtrak: Pacific Surfliner

LA Union Station Downtown Los Angeles 800 N. Alameda St, Los Angeles 90012

  Amtrak: Coast Starlight, Pacific Surfliner, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle
  Metro Rail: Red, Purple, and Gold lines

FutureEdit

Expansion to Kern County has been discussed in a 2012 Kern County Council of Governments report. [12]

  • Rosamond
  • Mojave

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Metrolink Fact Sheet (Q1 2017-18)" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Experience Metrolink's History - metrolinktrains.com". Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Gbenekama, Delana G. (October 2012). Metrolink 20th Anniversary Report (PDF). HWDS and Associates, Inc. pp. 9, 48. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  4. ^ "Metrolink Saturday Service Timetable". Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  5. ^ Koren, James Rufus (September 9, 2007). "Metrolink adding Sunday trains on AV line" (PDF). Antelope Valley Press. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Metrolink to double Antelope Valley Line Sunday service". Metrolink. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Metrolink riders now have faster commutes". KABC-TV. May 9, 2011. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  8. ^ "Metrolink to offer fare reductions on Antelope Valley Line". Metrolink. April 30, 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  9. ^ "Metrolink, Metro and the Bob Hope Airport hold groundbreaking event for the Bob Hope Airport-Hollywood Way Metrolink Station". Archived from the original on 2013-07-05. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  10. ^ Murga, Tammy (2019-07-29). "L.A. Metro board approves motion to improve Antelope Valley Line service". Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  11. ^ a b "Metrolink Timetable" (PDF). Metrolink. June 6, 2016. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
  12. ^ "Feasibility study" (PDF). www.kerncog.org.

External linksEdit