Arrow (rail line)

Arrow is a commuter rail[5][1][6][7] line in San Bernardino County, California, United States. Opened on October 24, 2022,[3] the line runs from the San Bernardino Transit Center in Downtown San Bernardino in the west to the University of Redlands in Redlands in the east.

Arrow
Arrow train logo.svg
Arrow at Redlands–University station
Arrow at Redlands–University station
Overview
OwnerSan Bernardino County Transportation Authority
Area servedSan Bernardino and Redlands, California
LocaleSan Bernardino Valley[1]
Transit typeCommuter rail
Number of stations5
Daily ridership1,600–1,800 (expected)[2]
Websitemetrolinktrains.com/arrow
Operation
Began operationOctober 24, 2022 (2022-10-24)[3]
Operator(s)Southern California Regional Rail Authority[4]
Infrastructure manager(s)BNSF
SCRRA
CharacterExclusive right of way with at-grade crossings
Number of vehicles4 Stadler FLIRT
Train length163 ft (50 m)
Headway30-minute (peak)
60-minute (off-peak)
Technical
System length9 mi (14 km)
No. of tracksMostly single
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
System map

San Bernardino–Downtown sbXParking
San Bernardino–Tippecanoe
Redlands–Esri
Redlands–Downtown Parking
Redlands–University Parking
Orange Blossom Trail
Detailed diagram
Arrow Maintenance Facility
San Bernardino–Downtown sbXParking
Greenbrier Rail Services spur
White Flyer Targets spur
San Bernardino–Tippecanoe
Redlands–Esri
Redlands–Downtown Parking
Metrolink train storage track
Redlands–University Parking
Orange Blossom Trail

The line was planned and constructed by the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority as the Redlands Passenger Rail Project and is operated under contract by Metrolink, which integrates Arrow into its commuter rail system making it the only line in the entire Metrolink system to be entirely in San Bernardino County and also became the second line not to serve Los Angeles Union Station nor cross the Los Angeles River since the opening of the Inland Empire-Orange County Line in October 1995.

OperationEdit

RouteEdit

The 9-mile (14 km) route uses a former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway line.[2][8] While mostly a single track line, 2 miles (3.2 km) of double track were constructed in the middle of the route to allow vehicles to pass each other.[9] Low-volume freight service by BNSF uses the route during overnight hours when Arrow service is not running for a few customers located on the portion of the line just west of San Bernardino–Tippecanoe station.[1]

Hours and frequencyEdit

Arrow trains run every day between approximately between 5:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. Trains arrive every 30 minutes early morning and evening and every 60 minutes mid-morning to mid-afternoon. On weekends trains between 7:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. arriving every 60 minutes, except for a few hours without trains in the morning and afternoon.[10]

Most trip schedules are coordinated to allow relatively short connection times with San Bernardino Line trains at San Bernardino Transit Center for trips to and from Los Angeles. One trip early in the morning and two later in the evening will be added once Arrow receives permission to implement a quiet zone and stop sounding train horns at level crossings along the route.[10]

StationsEdit

From west to east, the line starts at the San Bernardino Transit Center (also called San Bernardino–Downtown station), where passengers can transfer to several local and regional bus routes, Metrolink trains and the sbX bus rapid transit line, the line then makes stops at San Bernardino–Tippecanoe station, crosses under Interstate 10 and enters Redlands reaching the Redlands–Esri station, after that trains enter central Redlands serving Redlands–Downtown station, built alongside the historic Redlands Santa Fe Depot,[11] before reaching its final stop, Redlands–University station at the University of Redlands.[9][12]

City Station Connections
San Bernardino San Bernardino–Downtown
San Bernardino–Tippecanoe
Redlands Redlands–Esri
Redlands–Downtown   Metrolink: San Bernardino
Redlands–University

Rolling stockEdit

FLIRT[13] DMUs built by Stadler Rail were selected for service on the line under a $31.4 million contract.[14] An additional FLIRT utilizing hydrogen fuel cell energy storage is being developed by Stadler for use on the line, with a planned introduction in 2024.[15]

Make & Model Type In service Numbers Qty Notes
Stadler FLIRT DMU 2022[3] 3401–3403 3
ZEMU 2024 (planned) 1 Option for 3 additional units[15]

HistoryEdit

 
The historic Redlands Depot, the site of Redlands–Downtown station, in 2006 before Arrow construction

Previous rail service in Redlands included the Pacific Electric "Red Car" trolley system and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The PE's San Bernardino Line served Redlands from Los Angeles by way of its Eastern District, which opened in 1905 and was abandoned in 1937.[16] Extant infrastructure includes the PE right of way,[17] the ATSF's Redlands depot and the Redlands Trolley Barn.[18]

Proposals for a restored passenger rail connection between San Bernardino and Redlands were made as early as the 1990s, with the service originally projected to start in 1995.[19] This date has progressively been delayed to 2013, 2015, and 2018.[2] The project was then known as the Redlands Passenger Rail Project.[20][21]

By 2011, the estimated cost of construction was between $130 million and $150 million.[8] The first contract for the project was awarded on November 2, 2011, by San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) to HDR, Inc. for engineering and environmental services.[1] The contract was an amendment to an existing contract for HDR to work on a separate project in the region, the extension of the San Bernardino Line to a new terminus at the San Bernardino Transit Center.[22]

In September 2010, the SANBAG considered options that included Metrolink train service, other types of electrified or diesel trains, and buses.[23] In April 2011, SANBAG announced that it had settled on conventional heavy rail equipment for the service.[2] This would be provided by refurbished ex-Metrolink rolling stock[19] operating on 30-minute peak period headways and hourly off-peak headways.[8] While SANBAG preferred electrified light rail, its $268.1 million cost was over the $250 million limit for the federal Small Starts transit grants that would have been used.[2] The estimated cost of heavy rail service was $198.6 million, which could be paid for using federal transportation grants that were based on population and sales tax revenues.[2]

The plan to use conventional heavy rail equipment faced community opposition over concerns about the noise generated by the trains. In 2015, SANBAG announced it would instead use smaller diesel multiple unit (DMUs) railcars to serve as the line's rolling stock.[9][12][24] The line would be constructed to allow some conventional Metrolink trains to continue to Redlands–Downtown station.[25][11][17]

The project encountered further delays, including the U.S. federal government's shutdown in October 2013, after which point the construction was slated to begin in fall of 2016.[26] In February 2014, the project was delayed again,[citation needed] when a SANBAG document said that "construction is planned to begin in late 2015 with operation in 2018."[27] In 2015, SANBAG officials said the line was expected to be complete and operating in 2020.[8][9] By July 2016, construction was planned to begin in 2017 and service in 2020.[20][12][28][24] In July 2016, the project received an additional $8.6 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation in the eighth round of the TIGER grant program.[28] Ahead of the groundbreaking, the service was officially dubbed Arrow in November 2016.[20][29]

Four initial stops were proposed: two in Redlands and two in San Bernardino, with an initial projected ridership of between 1,600 and 1,800 passengers daily.[2] A fifth station near the headquarters of Esri at New York Street were added after the company offered funds for the addition. Initial plans called for a stop at Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino next to the Inland Regional Center, but the station was later moved to Tippecanoe Avenue instead, citing higher ridership due to the Inland Regional Center's heightened security after the San Bernardino mass shooting, as well as zoning modifications near the Waterman stop.[20][29]

 
University station eastern terminus under construction, April 2020.

ConstructionEdit

Groundbreaking for construction on the line took place on July 19, 2019.[30] The construction project included replacing all track on the line, rebuilding five bridges, and installing 24 grade crossings.[2]

During the planning process, the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) planned to have the area's public transit agency, Omnitrans, operate the line. But, by October 2019, Omnitrans was facing deficits that forced it to reduce service. Because of the Omnitrans' difficult financial situation, SBCTA voted to transfer the operation and construction duties to Metrolink.[4] The route and stations were shown as an under-construction extension of the San Bernardino Line on Metrolink's transit map that month.

Ribbon cutting celebrations were held on Friday, October 21, 2022,[31] and the line opened on Monday, October 24, 2022.[3]

FutureEdit

Plans for future improvments to the line were drawn up during the planning process. They call for additional passing sidings to allow 15-minute peak period headways and 30-minute off-peak headways.[8]

Service could potentially be extended along the historic Redlands Loop around Highland and San Bernardino International Airport before returning to downtown San Bernardino.[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Arrow commuter service launched in California". Railway Gazette International.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h MacDuff, Cassie (May 16, 2011). "Imperfect Rail Solution". The Press-Enterprise. Riverside, California: Press-Enterprise Corporation. Archived from the original on February 24, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d Asperin, Alexa Mae (October 24, 2022). "Metrolink's new 'Arrow' train service from Redlands to San Bernardino begins". KTTV. Fox Television Stations. Retrieved October 24, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Scauzillo, Steve (October 21, 2019). "$520 million deficit has Omnitrans eyeing layoffs and bus-line reductions, but is it enough?". The Sun. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  5. ^ Bookmark +, News/Media Release •. "California's Arrow Commuter Rail Line Begins Service". www.metro-magazine.com.
  6. ^ "StackPath". www.masstransitmag.com.
  7. ^ "Service starts on new Arrow rail line between San Bernardino and Redlands". Urbanize LA. October 24, 2022.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Contract awarded for California commuter line". Trains (Registration required). Waukesha, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. November 2, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d Emerson, Sandra (September 15, 2015). "SanBAG gives updates on cost, timeline of Redlands rail project". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Metrolink Arrow Service". Metrolink. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  11. ^ a b Emerson, Sandra (November 15, 2017). "What new ownership at Redlands Santa Fe Depot could mean to future rail service". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  12. ^ a b c "Redlands Passenger Rail Project" (PDF). SANBAG. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 22, 2015. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  13. ^ "Technical Proposal" (PDF). San Bernardino County Transportation Authority. Stadler. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  14. ^ Emerson, Sandra (July 28, 2017). "Redlands takes next step in bringing passenger rail service to city". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Stadler to deliver hydrogen-powered train to SBCTA". Railway Age. November 15, 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  16. ^ "Eastern District: Redlands". Pacific Electric Railway Historical Society. Archived from the original on December 5, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  17. ^ a b Emerson, Sandra (November 1, 2017). "Take a virtual tour of Redlands rail service that will begin in 2020". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  18. ^ Muckenfuss, Mark (July 25, 2015). "Last remnant of the red cars". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  19. ^ a b c Sears, Jan (May 8, 2011). "TRANSPORTATION: Metrolink trains will connect Redlands, San Bernardino". The Press-Enterprise. Riverside, California: Press-Enterprise Corporation. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  20. ^ a b c d Emerson, Sandra (November 16, 2016). "Redlands Passenger Rail Service to be Called Arrow". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  21. ^ Emerson, Sandra (May 6, 2015). "Redlands City Council updated on Redlands Passenger Rail project". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  22. ^ "Redlands Passenger Rail Project contract awarded". Railway Gazette International. Sutton, Surrey: DVV Media UK Ltd. November 2, 2011. Archived from the original on August 4, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  23. ^ Sears, Jan (September 9, 2010). "Passenger rail connection to Redlands still years away". The Press-Enterprise. Riverside, California: Press-Enterprise Corporation. Archived from the original on December 23, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  24. ^ a b Emerson, Sandra (November 7, 2015). "SanBAG begins design of Redlands Passenger Rail Project". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  25. ^ Emerson, Sandra (August 19, 2016). "Where Redlands rail project is heading". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  26. ^ Waldner, Erin (November 1, 2013). "REDLANDS: Passenger Rail Plan Slowed by Shutdown". The Press-Enterprise. Riverside, California: Press-Enterprise Corporation. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  27. ^ "Redlands Passenger Rail Project Fact Sheet" (PDF). San Bernardino, California: San Bernardino Associated Governments. February 26, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 22, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  28. ^ a b Emerson, Sandra (July 28, 2016). "Redlands Passenger Rail Project gets federal grant boost". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  29. ^ a b "Next Stop: Tippecanoe Avenue in San Bernardino". Redlands Passenger Rail Project Newsletter. SANBAG. December 8, 2016. Archived from the original on March 21, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  30. ^ "Groundbreaking Held For Redlands-To-San-Bernardino Rail Line". Redlands-Loma Linda, CA Patch. July 22, 2019.
  31. ^ "Redlands celebrates completion of Arrow passenger rail line". Redlands Daily Facts. Ron Hasse. October 21, 2022. Retrieved October 24, 2022.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Arrow (commuter rail) at Wikimedia Commons