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Buena Park, CA, Station Dedication, The Gateway to Fun!


The Gateway to Fun!

Buena Park, CA, Metrolink Station Dedication 10.6.07

Photos and Report by Carl Morrison,

Orange County's 11th Metrolink Station opened September 4, 2007.  The Dedication Event took place October 6, 2007.  The station's location is 8400 Lakeknoll Drive, Buena Park, CA  90621 (Off Dale between Malvern and Artesia).

The new station features: 

  • 680-foot boarding platforms in both directions

  • waiting area with canopies and benches

  • automated ticket vending machines

  • pedestrian overpass with elevators and stairs

  • distinctive clock tower, nearly 70 feet tall

  • plaza area with gazebo and textured paving

  • restrooms

  • lockers and bicycle storage

  • connecting OCTA bus service on Route 25 and 29

  • surface parking for 300 cars

  • motorcycle and bicycle parking

  • drought-resistant landscaping with Mexican fan palm trees


The station is conveniently located between a Cal State Fullerton housing complex and a new town house development.  The station is part of a growing trend toward transit-oriented development.  The new station offers nearby residents an alternative way to get to work, school or to fun destinations.  Convenient Metrolink trains can take passengers to Los Angeles, central and southern Orange County, Riverside and Oceanside.

It is estimated that 480 people will use the station on a daily basis, which will help alleviate congestion at the busy Fullerton Station.  The City of Buena Park will oversee the maintenance of the station.

The City of Buena Park coordinated the project with a number of organizations, both public and private:

  • Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF)

  • Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA)

  • Orange county Transportation Authority (OCTA)

  • California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Free roundtrip train tickets were provided on Metrolink Trains Weekends Schedule leaving Buena Park at 9:12 a.m. for San Juan Capistrano (usually $11.75 on weekends), arriving at 10:08 a.m. and returning immediately at 10:23 a.m., or two later times; 2:40 p.m. or 6:08 p.m.  Guests could also select to ride free on the northbound Metrolink Trains to Los Angeles (usually $8.00 on weekends) leaving at 11:11 a.m. arriving in L.A. Union Station at 11:50 a.m. and returning on any of 3 times; 12:45, 4:30, or 8:45 p.m.

About 650 people turned out for the free ride and over 125 special guests attended the dedication.

"Metrolink Weekends" round-trip adult fares are 25% off regular adult weekday fares.  Tickets are available through machines at the stations up to 3 hrs. prior to departure.  Trains may leave the station 5 minutes before scheduled departure time.

On weekends, Metrolink makes a total of eight stops at Buena Park Station, 4 southbound and 4 northbound, starting at 9:12 a.m. southbound and 7:44 a.m. northbound.

Three Metrolink llines serve Orange County, stretching over 68 miles with 11 stations.  The Orange County (OC) line provides service from Oceanside to Los Angeles Union Station.  The Inland Empire-Orange County (IEOC) Line has service from San Bernardino and Riverside to Oceanside.  The 91 Line provides service from Riverside to Los Angeles via Fullerton and Buena Park.  Together these three lines provide 44 weekday trips with an average of 17,600 boardings each weekday, including Rail 2 Rail passengers.

Rail 2 Rail is a partnership between Metrolink and Amtrak and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).  With Rail 2 Rail, Metrolink monthly pass holders riding on OC Line can board any Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train or Amtrak bus within the trip limits of their pass at no additional cost.  Each day, 1,325 additonal boardings result from the Rail 2 Rail program.

The Orange County Metrolink Stations are:

  1. Anaheim
  2. Anaheim Canyon
  3. Buena Park
  4. Fullerton
  5. Irvine
  6. Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo
  7. Orange
  8. San Clemente North Beach
  9. San Juan Capistrano
  10. Santa Ana
  11. Tustin

In addition to free train rides on October 6, 2007, the event at the new Buena Park Station included live music, performances and refreshments all day.  The station is a short bus ride from Knott's Berry Farm.  There was a free OCTA bus to the theme park and all free train ticket holders could enjoy Knott's "Everyone's a Kid" promotion where everyone could enter Knott's for the kids price of $18.95.

(Click any photo for a double-sized copy; Click BACK in your browser to return to this page.)

Upon arriving at the Buena Park station, passengers were welcomed by a nearly life-sized floating Metrolink train.
As you entered the 300-space parking lot, the inflated locomotive seemed to float above the new station.
In case you are using your GPS to find the station,  enter these cross streets in Buena Park, CA.

The colors for the celebration were purple and orange.  The station tower was modeled after Knott's Berry Farm's replica of Independence Hall.

The first Northbound train on the weekend schedule is during the long shadows at 7:44 a.m.
There is an elevator, but the exterior stairs provide a good vantage point east toward Fullerton Station, and of trains in the B.P. Station.

The crosswalk is glass enclosed, providing unobstructed photography above the 3 tracks and fence such as this one (right) of an Amtrak Surfliner passing through the station past the stable Metrolink #653.

When boarding was complete Loco 853 pushed Metrolink 653 westward.  Route 25 and 29 OCTA busses  await disembarking passengers.
Metrolink 653's 5-car consist heads around the bend west of the Buena Park Station, heading for it's next weekend stop, Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs 7 minutes away.
The Track Three 680-foot boarding platform has waiting areas with canopies and benches.
Appropriate signage indicates train direction and destination, even though the electronic informational signs and speakers are not yet in place.

Emergency phones* (connecting to Police), with blue locational lights above, are provided on the platforms as well as surveillance cameras around the station.
Attractive banners hang from the lightposts.
Track 3 information was appropriately placed next to Track 3.

Posted Elevator Operating Hours do accommodate for the first and last trains.

*An OCTA employee, while at the station a few days earlier setting up for this event, observed a wheelchair bound person trapped on the overpass.  It seems one of the elevators malfunctioned.  The paramedics were called and they carried the person down the stairs.  Perhaps an emergency phone should be installed in the overpass.  Also, there is no vehicle access, emergency or otherwise, to Track 3 passenger platform.

In this same vein, the townhouse project south of the station has direct access to the platform via stairs and a walkway.  I noticed the opening in the wall and also noted (below) that anyone using the walkway would have to vault over a permanent bench to board a train on Track 3 or to reach the elevator and crosswalk to Track 1.  More importantly, this bench, and the stairs to the townhouses, make it impossible for any ADA person to go from the townhouses to the Buena Park Station to board a train.  Instead they would have to drive  down Dale avenue under the tracks and park on the north side of the tracks and, if they were southbound, take the elevator and crosswalk back to Track 3!


New townhouse project through the wall along Track 3.  (See access notes above).
A ticket validation machine (without instructions) along Track 3.
View of the station tower/elevator from Track 3.

Access platform on Track 3.
Bathrooms and Access ramp along Track 1.
Bathrooms and Access ramp along Track 1.


Glass-enclosed walkway over tracks.
Plaza area with gazebo and textured paving.


Something spooky about the side graphic on the OCTA bus from the B.P. Station to Knott's Berry Farm.  (Don't focus on the word, Haunt, but on the windows above it.)

OCTA employee, Jennifer O'Connor, made sure everyone received Metrolink tickets and schedules as well as food,  drink and entertainment.
Christina Byrne, Marcelo Sandoval, Andrea West
Kevyn has his face painted by "Tooter" the Clown (Kathy Ramsey)

As the time for the Dedication arrived, "Dognataries" began arriving.

And the band played, "How Much is that Doggie in the Window."

Kevyn gets a hug from Snoopy.

At 9:12, #654 arrived from L.A. on southbound Track 3.
It then proceeded south toward San Juan Capistrano with some free ticket holders who boarded at B.P.

Paul Dyson, straw hat at right, had just arrived.  Paul is the President of RailPassenger Association of California, based in Sacramento (  Ross Moore greeted him (far right) and discussed the days events.

Knott's Berry Farm's 4-horse hitch stage coach made an appearance and O.C. Deputy Sanger assumed the position of riding shotgun.


Followed by Deputy Parker
Followed by L.A. County Sheriff's Metrolink Bureau's Officer Dubusky.
and Officer Perez. 

Art Brown, B.P. Councilman posed by the stage coach.

Ken Ruben represented the Southern California Transit Advocates (right).
Dhawani Parekh was filming and interviewing guests for her Cal State Fullerton Com 202 Video Class for a local news assignment.


At 10:15, "The Gateway to Fun" Buena Park Station Dedication Event began with Art Brown introducing those who would make comments and present resolution to the city of Buena Park.

Art Brown, OCTA Director, Buena Park councilmember, Metrolink Board Member, and Honorary Mayor for this day.


Shawn Kim presented Buena Park a California State Resolution from Lou Correa representing the 34th district.
Carolyn Cavecche, OCTA Chairman, mentioned that 2/3 of the population and workforce live along the Metrolink Corridor.  She spoke of rail and grade crossing projects that have been funded by OCTA.

Patsy Marshall, Buena Park Mayor, mistakenly referred to Art's being an advocate since the 1890s, and quickly recovered and said that he advocated a stage coach stop in Buena Park then.  She explained that in 1980 he proposed a Metrolink Station in Buena Park and after 17 years, it has happened.
Tony Mendoza, California State Assemblyman, mentioned the 30% increase in ridership and how this station will help the crowding at the nearby Fullerton Station.  He also mentioned that this was the first station with video surveillance and an agreement to maintain the property that some cities do not assume.
Ron Roberts, Metrolink Chairman, mentioned the end of the Metrolink lines in 3 directions:  Oceanside, Lancaster and Riverside.

Chris Norby (center) OCTA Vice Chair, Fourth District Supervisor, quoted Johnny Cash's saying, "I never saw a train I didn't wish I was on."


Marty Keithley, Vice President and General Manager of Knott's Berry Farm, said he began as a Train Robber on the Knott's Steam Train.  He says in April Knott's is having a Railroad Days, as they used to have.
The red ribbon was cut,

and Snoopy came through the Metrolink backdrop door.
The dedication building placque was unveiled.

At 11:11 a.m., northbound Metrolink #655 stopped for L.A. bound passengers.  With the help of Snoopy, passengers boarded and headed for a roundtrip to Los Angeles.


And the Band Played On!

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