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FRA issues grant for Amtrak service expansions in California


The Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) last week received a $2.89 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to increase Amtrak service to the Coachella Valley and San Gorgonio Pass.

The grant will fund the completion of an analysis of route alternatives, an environmental impact report and a service development plan, RCTC officials said in a press release.

"While we still have a lot of work to do, this is great news for Riverside County, the Coachella Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass," said RCTC Chairman Daryl Busch, who also is mayor of Perris, Calif. "Our desert communities are known throughout the world, but there needs to be another way to get there besides having to drive on Interstate 10."

Amtrak's only current stop in the Coachella Valley is in Palm Springs, Calif., along its Sunset Limited route, which runs between New Orleans and Los Angeles. RCTC's expanded service plans would provide at least one round-trip per day between Los Angeles and Indio, Calif., with a stop in the San Gorgonio Pass and two stops in the Coachella Valley.

RCTC, the California Department of Transportation and consulting firm HDR are coordinating the effort.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/21/2015