Thursday, October 18, 2012

Caltrans and partners restore former L.A. Union Station tracks, platforms

On October 17, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Amtrak, Metrolink and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority celebrated the opening of three new Los Angeles Union Station tracks and a platform to serve Amtrak and Metrolink passengers.

The three new tracks and platform , which were removed more than 35 years ago, were reestablished to serve the increasing train travel demand, which today surpasses that of World War II. Ridership on Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner, the second busiest corridor in the nation, has increased significantly in the past 10 years.

Los Angeles Union Station serves more than two million Amtrak and Metrolink passengers annually. New station tracks 13 and 14 and platform 7 will augment the existing tracks 3-12, which currently serve Amtrak national trains, Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner and Metrolink service. Track 15 will be used as storage.

The project's design maintained the stations historic architectural style and includes north and south stairways and accessible ramps that connect to the main passenger tunnel. Other enhancements include a new electronic passenger information system and energy-efficient lighting renovations to the existing platform canopy.

The new track construction, which was managed by Metrolink, began in May 2011 and was complete in September 2012. The $23.5 million project was funded with $20.5 million in Proposition 1B funds, $2,656,000 in federal funds and $344,000 in local funds.

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