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File #: 2017-0159   
Type: Informational Report Status: Filed
File created: 3/7/2017 In control: Planning and Programming Committee
On agenda: 4/19/2017 Final action: 4/19/2017
Title: RECEIVE AND FILE the Regional Rail Update through March 2017.
Sponsors: Planning and Programming Committee
Indexes: Alternatives analysis, Alternatives Analysis study approved by the Board, Amtrak, Audit, Automatic vehicle location, Bob Hope Airport, Budget, Budgeting, Burbank, California High Speed Rail, California High Speed Rail Authority, California State Transportation Agency, Capital Project, Construction, Construction Acquisitions, Construction completed, Currency, Diesel multiple unit cars, Double track, Environmental Impact Report, Environmental impact statements, Gateway Cities (Southeast LA County) Service Sector, Glendale, Grade separations, High speed rail, Informational Report, Joint Powers Agreement, La Verne, Link Union Station, Los Angeles To San Diego To San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles Union Station, Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, Maintenance practices, Metro Gold Line, Metro Purple Line, Metro Rail A Line, Metro Rail B Line, Metro Rail D Line, Metro Rail L Line, Metro Red Line, Metrolink, Metrolink Antelope Valley Line, Metrolink San Bernardino Line, Metrolink Ventura County Line, Palmdale, Pasadena, Payment, Pedestrians, Plan, Procurement, Program management, Project, Quiet Zone, Railroad commuter service, Rehabilitation (Maintenance), Ridership, Safety, San Bernardino Transportation Authority, San Dimas, San Fernando, San Fernando Valley Service Sector, San Gabriel, Santa Fe Springs, Sylmar, Ticket vending machines, Union Pacific Railroad, West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor (WSAB) Project
Attachments: 1. Attachment A -- LOSSAN Map.pdf, 2. Attachment B - Metrolink Asset Inspection Summary 3-24-17.pdf, 3. Attachment C - Letter to Chairman Fasana.pdf
Date Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsAudio
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APRIL 19, 2017



SUBJECT: Receive and file the Regional Rail Update







RECEIVE AND FILE the Regional Rail Update through March 2017.


The Regional Rail unit of the Program Management Department is responsible for providing overall coordination, management, and the programming of funds for LACMTA’s commitment to the commuter, intercity, and high speed rail networks serving Los Angeles County.  This unit also manages and coordinates capital improvement projects along the LACMTA owned railroad right-of-way.



LACMTA is the largest member agency for the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), the operator of the Metrolink commuter rail network.  Metrolink carries approximately 40,000 riders per day throughout the southern California Region. 

LACMTA is a member of the Los Angeles - San Diego - San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency.  This Joint Powers Authority (JPA) coordinates the passenger rail services of the three carriers (Amtrak, Metrolink, and COASTER) within this intercity rail corridor.  LACMTA is instrumental in the planning and coordination efforts within the County of Los Angeles for the future high speed rail program connecting northern California to southern California.  Staff is involved with regional and statewide groups working to develop integrated passenger rail service in the state.


The Regional Rail team coordinates and leads capital improvement projects for the Metro owned and Metrolink operated right-of-way.


Capital Projects


The Regional Rail unit is actively managing 9 capital improvement projects. These projects range from planning studies to the design of capacity and safety related projects.  There are two regional rail projects currently on hold, Raymer to Bernsen Double Track and Bob Hope Pedestrian Bridge.


1.                     Bob Hope Airport/Hollywood Way Station (Station), Antelope Valley Line

This project will add a new Metrolink station on the Antelope Valley Line, to provide better access to the Bob Hope Airport.  Construction contract award and Notice to Proceed were issued on January 5, 2017 and March 1, 2017 respectfully. A successful pre-construction community meeting was held on March 13, 2017 to discuss construction related information including construction hours, lane closures, and duration. Over 70 people attended the meeting. Construction is anticipated to be completed by May 2018 and revenue operation is anticipated by June 2018 or sooner.

2.                     Brighton to Roxford Double Track

This project proposes to add a second main line track on approximately 11 miles of the Antelope Valley Line (AVL) between Burbank and Sylmar. This creates over 25 miles of continuous double track rail from Los Angeles Union station to the San Fernando Valley. The goal of project is to improve regional rail service while enhancing safety for the corridor communities and commuters on AVL.  The existing single main line track is used by both Metrolink commuter rail service as well as Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) freight service and accommodates approximately 35 trains per day. This creates a significant bottleneck for rail transportation and reduces the on-time performance of Metrolink trains. Currently, trains must frequently idle at the siding track, leading to longer commutes including unpredictable arrivals and departures in surrounding communities. The addition of second main line track will allow for opposing traffic to run on separate tracks improving the overall flow of trains, effectively creating a “2-way street” for train operations. There are 16 at-grade roadway crossings that need to be improved. All crossings will be designed with quiet-zone related improvements.  The consultant is currently working on Phase-2 Design Documents (65% PS&E) which is targeted for submittal on August 2017.                      

3.                     Doran Street and Broadway/Brazil Safety and Access Project

The Doran Street grade crossing has been identified by the California Public Utilities Commission as one of the most hazardous crossings on the Metrolink system.  This project grade separates the crossing and enhances safety and mobility into the area.  The project is currently in the Alternative Analysis (AA) phase. The Metro Board in January 2017 approved Alternative 2 Salem/ Sperry Overpass and a Northerly Point of Access (P or J Hook Options) to start preliminary engineering and environmental work. A draft environmental document is expected to be completed in Spring 2018.

L.A. County Grade Crossing and Corridor Safety Program

This study includes 110 at-grade railroad crossings along the rail corridors that Metrolink operate commuter rail service, including a total of approximately 132 miles of Metro-owned railroad right-of-way.  The study includes two phases of work: Phase 1 includes development of an inventory of Metrolink grade crossings and rail corridors in Los Angeles County and identification of the scope and priority for safety enhancements; Phase 2 includes development of a Project Study Report Equivalent (PSRE) report for each of the four (4) grade crossings to be evaluated for potential grade separations.

Staff received comments and new traffic information from cities and accordingly revised the recommended safety enhancements at some grade crossings as well as the priority rankings.  Staff has completed the Phase 1 work, which includes a planning level cost estimate for safety enhancements, priority rankings for near term roadway and pedestrian improvements, and priority rankings for long term grade separation candidate projects.  Staff is reviewing all Phase 1 information to determine the four grade crossings to be evaluated in PSRE reports as Phase 2 work. The anticipated completion date for Phase 2 work is April 2018.

4.                     Los Angeles County Metrolink Station Assessment and Improvement Plan

The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) operates Metrolink passenger rail service in six southern California counties, including Los Angeles County.  There are 25 Metrolink Stations in Los Angeles County that are either owned and/or maintained by the city where they are located, Caltrans, or Los Angeles County. Some of the stations serve as “shared stations” for Metrolink and Amtrak service. This study looked into opportunities to upgrade the 25 existing Metrolink stations in Los Angeles County which to improve the passenger experience.  The team completed assessment of the Stations and identified improvements that will provide passengers with convenient, safe, and user-friendly services at the Stations. The draft study was submitted for review in December 2017 and review comments were provided to the team in January 2018. The final study will be ready by next quarter for distribution. 


5.                     Rosecrans/Marquardt Grade Separation

This project will grade separates the existing at-grade crossing at the Rosecrans and Marquardt intersection in City of Santa Fe Springs, which has been ranked No. 1 on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Section 190 list as the most hazardous crossing in the state.   In the Summer 2016, Metro was awarded $15 million in TIGER grant for the Project.  Based on the 65% design plans, Metro established the life of project budget of $155.3 million.  The CPUC has approved the grade separation application in March 2017. The 90% design plans is scheduled to be submitted for May 2017. Metro is currently is coordinating with CAHSR, BNSF, & City of Santa Fe Springs to secure funding agreements for construction and right of way acquisition.


6.                     Link Union Station (Link US)

The Link US project will convert the stub-ended railyard at Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) to a run-through railyard which will significantly expand rail service capacity and enhance operational flexibility.  Link US will include up to 10 new run-through tracks over US 101, reconstruction of the railyard and the throat, addition of a northern loop track, and a new expanded multi-modal passenger concourse designed to meet the demands from the growing ridership at LAUS.  Link US will significantly reduce greenhouse gases associated with idling locomotives and provide the infrastructure needed to support potential one-seat rides to key destinations in Southern California.  Lastly, Link US will be designed to accommodate the future California High Speed Rail (HSR) and West Santa Ana Branch (WSAB) Line Light Rail services.

The project is currently in the Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Clearance phase.  The Draft EIR/EIS is scheduled to be released to the public in late summer 2017 and FRA’s Record of Decision is scheduled for early spring 2018.  Staff has received Board approval in March on the Recommended Alternative that will be included in the Draft EIR/EIS.

Staff is continuing to coordinate the development of Link US with the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA).  Regular meetings are occurring between the Link US team and the CHSRA about accommodating the high speed rail program into the footprint of Link US EIR/S.  Staff continues to work with the CHSRA on the necessary agreements including a full funding agreement and operations and maintenance agreement that addresses the implementation phase of the project (right of way acquisition and construction).

7.                     Lone Hill to CP White Second Track

The Metrolink San Bernardino line is 70% single track.  This project will add a 3.9 mile section of additional second track in the cities of La Verne and San Dimas.  All 12 crossings will be designed to be quiet-zone ready. 


The project is in the environmental clearance and 30% design phase.  Community meetings were held in November 2016.  Further outreach to the community is continuing this Spring.  Preliminary engineering is scheduled to be completed Summer 2017. 


8.                     Metrolink San Bernardino Line Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) Study

Metro is partnering with San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) perform a study to assess the feasibility of operating Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) service on the Metrolink San Bernardino Line between Redlands in San Bernardino and Los Angeles Union Station.  The DMU study presents unique opportunities to operate additional transit service and/or achieve cost savings for commuter rail operations. 



Regional Rail projects currently on hold:

9.                     Bob Hope Airport Pedestrian Grade Separation, Ventura Line

The Bob Hope Airport Pedestrian Bridge project is a pedestrian safety enhancement project that provides a direct plane-to-train connection between the regional rail network and the Hollywood Burbank Airport. This project was then placed on indefinite hold because Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, LOSSAN, and City of Burbank staff have declined to operate and maintain the pedestrian bridge. Metro and the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) does not maintain Metrolink stations or related improvements such as pedestrian bridges.

10.                     Raymer to Bernson Double Track  

Six miles of second main line track is proposed to be constructed between Van Nuys and Chatsworth.  Metro has secured a total of $80.3 million for the project with $60.82 million from the California State Transportation Improvement Program and $19.48 million California State Proposition 1B Intercity Rail. The California Transportation Commission has postponed the funding of the project to fiscal year 2019.  As of June 2016, Caltrans has ended the funding contract for the design phase of the project. The November Metro Board has placed the project on hold. 


Metrolink Commuter Rail Operations


                     Ticket Vending Machine Update

Metrolink informed the member agencies that they are still in the process of writing their TVM procurement scope of work.  The RFP is scheduled to be released in early April or May 2017 with an excepted award date of October 2017.  As a result of this updated schedule new TVMs are anticipated to be installed in January 2019.  Metro has emphasized our Board’s request for a TVM cash option in Los Angeles County and submitted a station by station request for one or more cash TVM at all Los Angeles County stations.  Metro’s TAP, OMB and Regional Rail departments meet regularly with Metrolink to provide input on the TVM procurement.     


                     Metrolink Request for Additional Rehab Funding

In order to provide assurance to the Metro Board, prior to any multi-million dollar commitment of funding, that the highest priority rehabilitation projects are addressed in the most expeditious manner, particularly in the event of a risk to the operational safety of our passengers, staff performed due diligence review of Metrolink’s “Priority A” urgent structure and rail tie rehabilitation work from November 23, 2017 through March 27, 2017 (refer to Attachment D). Staff inspected as many ties, bridges, turnouts and culverts within the aforementioned time period to corroborate and validate Metrolink’s priority list so that it can be used to provide guidance for programming of funds for urgent structure and rail tie rehabilitation work. Staff has also hired a consultant, WSP, to review and validate SCRRA’s state of good repair projects including performing a condition risk assessment to be used as a diagnostic tool for allocation of funds.


Staff is working with SCRRA on a multi-phasing approach to Metrolink’s urgent structure and rail tie rehabilitation work totaling up to $31,864,316, beginning with “Priority A” projects and followed by “Priority B” projects. Staff has inspected 29 bridges and culverts and over 10 miles of rail ties in the Valley, Ventura, San Gabriel and River Subdivisions under the “Priority A” projects. For the 29 bridges and culverts under “Phase A” projects inspected as part of phase 1, staff concurs with SCRRA that at least 10 bridges and culverts including ties and turnouts need to be replaced immediately within the next three years. The remaining 19 bridges and culverts under “Phase A” projects inspected as part of phase 1 appear to be in “fair to satisfactory” conditions and do not require immediate replacement within the next 3 years even though these structures are at least over 29 years old. However, since these structures are old and approaching their service life, staff is recommending that it be programmed for replacement within the next ten (10) years with continuous annual inspections. Staff is recommending approval of additional funding for Metrolink’s urgent structure and rail tie rehabilitation work for phase 1.


                     FY 2015-2016 CAFR and Audit

Metro’s auditors Vasquez and Company have completed their field work and are in the process of preparing their draft audit report.  Metro staff will return back to the Board when the final audit report is issued.


                     $18 Million Loan

Metro received Metrolink’s first payment of $5 million on April 1, 2016. 

The following is a summary of Metrolink’s repayment plan for the remaining payments and what has been paid to date:


$5 million on or before March 31, 2016 - PAID

$5 million on or before May 31, 2016 - PAID

$590,240.76 Interest Payment received on July 29, 2016

$1 million on or before August 31, 2016 - PAID

$1 million on or before November 30, 2016 - PAID

$1 million on or before February 28, 2017 - PAID

The balance on or before June 30, 2017


This will achieve final payment by the loan maturity date of June 30, 2017.


                     Metrolink Invoices and Billing Issues

Metrolink has made some progress in submitting invoices to draw down on the $30M of funding.  However, there remains an issue with billing member agencies for Oracle 11I reimbursements for fiscal years 2011, 2012 and 2013.  Metro’s board approved extending the lapsing date to June 30, 2017, to allow Metrolink an opportunity to expend these funds.  Metrolink has provided an invoicing and expenditure plan to meet the June 30, 2017, deadline to expend the lapsing funds.  Staff will monitor Metrolink’s progress in meeting the expenditure plan and will continue to meet with Metrolink management to resolve the invoicing backlog.


                     Metrolink Ridership and Revenues for FY 2016-17

For FY 2016-17 (July 2016 thru September 2017) Metrolink ridership was at 99.9% of budget, and 3.5% higher than FY 16 levels.  Revenues were also at 99.9% of budget, and .2% above FY 16 levels. 


                     Antelope Valley Line (AVL) 25% Fare Discount Program

Since this program’s inception in July 2015, the AVL fare discount program has been highly successful in attracting new riders to the AVL.  Ridership growth for January 2016 thru November 2016 averaged 14% increase in ridership compared to the prior year.  Fare revenues have increased, and the program is recovering more than half of the budgeted costs. 




                     LOSSAN Intercity Rail (Amtrak Pacific Surfliner)

The LOSSAN corridor is the second busiest intercity rail corridor in the nation (see Attachment A).  There are 41 stations and more than 150 daily passenger trains, with an annual ridership of 2.9 million on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner plus 5.1 million on Metrolink and Coaster commuter rail.


For the 12 months ending June 2016, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner intercity rail ridership was 2.9M boardings, a 4% increase over prior year, and the most in fiscal year history since inception in 1977.  Revenues on the Pacific Surfliner were also up 3% compared to the prior year.  Farebox recovery was 75%, a very strong number, and a 7% increase over FY 2015-16 levels. 


In March 2017 the LOSSAN Board adopted the two year LOSSAN Business Plan for FY 2017-18 and FY 2018-19 and submitted it to the California State Transportation Agency by the April 1, 2017 statutory deadline.  The Business Plan provides a basis for the annual budget request, outlines operations and service goals, and discusses any proposed changes to the Pacific Surfliner service.


Also in November, LOSSAN had 80,000 boardings on the Pacific Surfliner during the five days of Wednesday thru Sunday of the busy Thanksgiving week.  This is a 6% increase in ridership compared to 2015.

LOSSAN and SCRRA agreed to extend the term of the Rail-2-Rail Agreement thru December 31, 2016.  A long-term Rail-2-Rail agreement has been reached by Orange County, Ventura County and Metro in March 2017.  


                     High Speed Rail

The Governor’s budget allocates 25% of Cap and Trade funds to high speed rail.  This allows acceleration of the program. On April 20, 2017 the State is planning on selling a portion of the nearly $10 billion in bonds that voters approved in 2008. The Governor has also issued a letter to Metro for a funding commitment of up to $500 million for the Link Union Station and Rosecrans Marquardt Grade Separation Project (refer to Attachment C).


The Supplemental Alternative Analysis work is underway on the Burbank to Palmdale and Burbank to Anaheim segments in L.A. County.  The California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) is evaluating an alternative that partially includes LACMTA owned right-of-way as well as one that takes a more direct route between Palmdale and Burbank.  Regional Rail is coordinating with CHSRA on the Brighton to Roxford Double Track Project, Doran and Broadway/ Brazil Grade Separation and LINK US on design options that would be usable under any high speed rail scenario for this corridor to minimize or eliminate throw away work. 






Attachment A -- LOSSAN Corridor Map

Attachment B -- Metrolink Asset Inspection Summary dated March 24, 2017

Attachment C-Office of the Governor Letter, dated March 7, 2017




Prepared by: Jay Fuhrman, Transportation Planning Manager, (213) 922-2810

Jeanet Owens, Senior Executive Officer (213) 922-6877



Reviewed by: Nalini Ahuja, Chief Financial Officer, Office of Budget Management

                      (213) 922-2296

Richard Clark, Chief Program Management Officer, Program Management, (213) 922-7382