The Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) voted unanimously at their October 9, 2013 meeting, to approve a Memorandum of Understanding with the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) to pursue daily passenger train service between Coachella Valley and Los Angeles.
This is very exciting news, especially when the governmental agencies that can make this daily train service come to fruition are supporting this effort. With that said we also realize that many challenges lay ahead.
With RCTC taking the lead, the next step will be an in depth service development plan, which is required by the Federal Rail Road Administration in conjunction with Caltrans Division of Rail. This study will include numerous details, such as station locations, ridership numbers, and so on. This will also require additional public outreach with Southwest Rail being an active partner, as we have hosted several meetings in the past.
Amtrak would operate this emerging corridor service, using the same bi-level equipment that is currently in place with the California Pacific Surfliners. This equipment is very comfortable,
the seats recline, it has a café car and is generally geared for longer distance travel; as opposed to commuter trains that generally have rigid seating, no café cars, along with limited service on weekends and holidays.
We are honored to have the support of our many government and Valley leaders who were instrumental in making this progress happen.
President, Southwest Rail Passenger Association