The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has announced an award of $10.7 million from the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grant Program to fund passenger rail safety and speed improvement projects in the critical Burbank-Anaheim Rail Corridor, one of the busiest thoroughfares in Southern California.
This $10.7 million grant will partially fund the Burbank Corridor Speed and Safety Improvements Project, which will enhance service on Metrolink’s Ventura County and Antelope Valley lines. Nearly 100 passenger and freight trains operate each weekday through Burbank and Glendale. The federal award will be matched with state funds to cover the balance of the project.
“We are thankful to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, Federal Railroad Administration Administrator Ronald Batory and California’s Congressional delegation for supporting this award,” said Metrolink Board Chair Brian Humphrey. “These funds will support much-needed safety and operational improvements in a heavily traveled rail corridor.”
Funds from the CRISI Grant Program are designed to increase safety, efficiency and reliability of intercity passenger and freight rail systems. This Los Angeles County project will improve the tracks and signal controls between Metrolink’s Burbank Airport-South and Glendale stations, which will reduce train congestion and increase on-time performance on track shared with Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner and Coast Starlight services, along with the Union Pacific Railroad freight services.
“I applaud the funding announced by the Federal Railroad Administration to support Metrolink’s important Burbank Corridor Safety and Speed Improvements Project,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank). “This project, located in my district, will help Metrolink improve station safety for pedestrians, reduce travel time and improve speed in this crucial intercity and regional rail corridor, and I am thrilled to see it move forward.”
In addition to the projects along the Burbank-Anaheim Rail Corridor, Metrolink is working to implement the Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion (SCORE) Program which will improve rail infrastructure to facilitate more frequent service by the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic and Paralympic Games.
According to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), the SCORE Program is expected to create 113,100 jobs before the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games and an estimated 1.36 million jobs by 2050. The LAEDC also estimates SCORE will add more than $1.17 trillion to Southern California’s economy, while reducing 51.7 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
“With roadways in Southern California at capacity and population continuing to grow, more people are looking for an environmentally-friendly alternative to driving that also allows them to avoid freeway traffic,” said Humphrey. “This grant allows us to improve the service to our customers, so we can continue our record-breaking trend of ridership growth.”
Metrolink has experienced ridership growth for five years in a row. Last year, Metrolink set a ridership record with nearly 12 million passenger boardings, which removed an estimated 9.3 million car trips from our congested freeways resulting in a reduction of 130,000 metric tons of GHG and 339 million vehicle miles traveled system wide.