Antelope Valley Line
|Antelope Valley Line|
|Locale||Northern Greater Los Angeles Area|
|Termini||Los Angeles Union Station
|Daily ridership||6,036 (Q3 2013) |
|Opening||October 26, 1992|
|Owner||Metrolink (track; Los Angeles-Downtown Burbank), Union Pacific (track; Downtown Burbank-Lancaster)|
|Character||Mostly surface-level with one underground section.|
|Line length||76.6 miles (123.3 km)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Operating speed||79 mph (127 km/h) maximum
37 mph (60 km/h) average
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.
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.
Earthquake traffic relief
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. 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). 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.
Saturday service on the Antelope Valley Line has been operating since 1999, Sunday service was added in September 2007. As of August 2013, weekend service has expanded to 6 trains on Saturdays and Sundays. 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.
Express service was added to the line in May 2011. 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 an all stops train.
The Antelope Valley Line has 30 trains on weekdays and 12 trains on weekends. 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 towards Los Angeles in the morning and northbound away from Los Angeles in the evening. 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 August 2013 timetable, only 18 trains operate the full route between LA and Lancaster on weekdays, the rest "short turn" in the Santa Clarita Valley (6 trains at Santa Clarita, 4 at Via Princessa). 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 (southbound in the morning and northbound in the evening) between Palmdale and Los Angeles making stops only at the Santa Clarita, Sylmar/San Fernando and Downtown Burbank stations.
The Antelope Valley Line serves 11 stations:
- Union Station, Los Angeles
- Glendale, Glendale
- Downtown Burbank, Burbank
- Sun Valley, Sun Valley
- Sylmar/San Fernando, Sylmar/San Fernando
- Newhall, Santa Clarita
- Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita
- Via Princessa, Santa Clarita
- Vincent Grade/Acton, South Palmdale/Acton
- Palmdale Transportation Center, Downtown Palmdale
- Lancaster, Lancaster
Bob Hope Airport station
A new Bob Hope Airport-Hollywood Way station is being built to serve Antelope Valley Line passengers traveling to Bob Hope Airport. When completed in early 2015 the station will be located near the intersection of San Fernando Boulevard and Hollywood Way and a free shuttle bus will take passengers to the airport terminal located 1 mile away from the station site. 
- "Metrolink Fact Sheet (Q3 2013)". Metrolink. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Metrolink 20th Anniversary Report". Metrolink. pp. 48, 9. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Metrolink Saturday Service Timetable". Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- Koren, James Rufus (September 9, 2007). "Metrolink adding Sunday trains on AV line". Antelope Valley Press. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Metrolink to double Antelope Valley Line Sunday service". Metrolink. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Metrolink riders now have faster commutes, KABC-TV, May 9, 2011. Accessed October 30, 2011".
- "Antelope Valley Line Schedule". Metrolink. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Metrolink, Metro and the Bob Hope Airport hold groundbreaking event for the Bob Hope Airport-Hollywood Way Metrolink Station".
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