The Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), is studying options for providing additional Amtrak intercity rail service between Los Angeles and the desert cities in the Coachella Valley. The Coachella Valley – San Gorgonio Pass Rail Corridor Service would extend from Indio in the east to Los Angeles Union Station in the west, a distance of approximately 141 miles.
In 1991, RCTC completed the first in a series of studies evaluating the feasibility of operating one or two daily intercity rail round trips between Los Angeles and Indio. From 1991 to 2013, RCTC completed additional feasibility studies on the Coachella Valley – San Gorgonio Pass Rail Corridor Service. In July 2016, RCTC, in coordination with Caltrans and FRA, prepared and completed the Coachella Valley – San Gorgonio Pass Rail Corridor Service Study Alternatives Analysis Final Report that evaluated a reasonable range of alternatives for a new intercity rail service between Los Angeles and Indio.
Below is a map of the study area.
With the completion of the Alternatives Analysis Final Report, work is under way to prepare a Program Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) document this is consistent with federal and state requirements. As part of the EIS/EIR process, all interested agencies and the public at large were invited to participate in public scoping meetings held in October 2016. Input received during the scoping process will help identify important issues for consideration in the Program EIS/EIR. These comments will help finalize the Purpose and Need and the issues to be studied. The next steps include identifying the service alternatives to be evaluated and to perform the technical analysis of those alternatives.
After completing the Draft EIS/EIR, a Service Development Plan will be prepared to conceptualize how the service would operate and what infrastructure improvements would be needed to accommodate the new intercity passenger rail service.