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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Two southern California counties to see commuter-rail service by 2016, state official says


Amtrak commuter service between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties is expected to begin running in spring 2016, State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Calif.) announced late last week.

Specific operating and service agreements with Union Pacific Railroad, Metrolink and Amtrak still need to be worked out, but Jackson expects the train to begin running around 6 a.m. in Moorpark and arrive in Goleta just before 8 a.m. The exact location of the stops is still in the works as well.

The rail line "will alleviate gridlock, get people out of their cars, reduce greenhouse gases, and get people where they want to go faster," she said in a press release. "It will also be a significant way to reduce gridlock once they begin construction to widen Highway 101."

The new route would utilize Amtrak's newer, more eco-friendly trains and would include WiFi service and a dining car, according to Jackson.

Jackson hopes to have at least two trains running at commuter hours, but that will involve significant negotiations with UP about the construction of sidings, she said.