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California Corridors & Regional Rail, Arthur Brown, LOSSAN

RailPAC Annual Meeting, NARP Member Meeting


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California Corridors & Regional Rail

Arthur Brown, Chairman, LOSSAN

IMG_4012.jpgMr. Brown read from the 29-page "LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency Fact Sheet" and "LOSSAN Corridor Strategic Business Plan - Making Progress - Advancing Mobility.  December 2007."  (LOSSAN is Los Angeles, San Diego, San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency).

I took a few notes, and when Mr. Brown was done speaking, I asked if his information was online so I could fact check my story.  He handed me the booklet from which he was reading!

Here's what I gleaned from the booklet:


... works to increase ridership, revenue, capacity, reliability, and safety on the coastal rail line from San Diego to Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo.  The LOSSAN rail corridor is second only to the Northeast corridor.  It parallels Interstate 5 and Highway 101, both of which are heavily congested.  Also knows as Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner
corridor, this 351-mile rail line serves more than 2.7 million intercity passengers and 4.5 million passengers on the Metrolink and Coaster systems.  One in every nine Amtrak riders use this corridor.

... four critical improvement projects:  grade separations in FUllerton, Commerce, and Solana Beach and bluff stabilization in Del Mar, funded by the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts program.

Critical projects:  centralized traffic control systems, double and triple tracking, siding extensions, station parking structures, real-time passenger information systems, bridge replacements, and grade crossing safety improvements.

LOSSAN Corridor Strategic Business Plan

(You might find the entire report online by searching by this title)

BNSF and UP freight service also uses this corridor, predominantly from the Ports of LA and Long Beach.  Forty percent of the corridor remains single track.

This corridor goes through six counties and some of the most scenic and environmentally sensitive areas in the state and is located for extended stretches directly adjacent to the Pacific Ocean (ES-1 below).

Built in the latter portion of the 19th century and early 20th century, today's expansion of the corridor is limited.  The northern section is 80% single-tracked and the Los Angeles to San Diego section is 41% single-tracked.  There are locations in the UP-owned northern portion which have jointed track rather than continuously-welded rail, older signaling systems which require trains to wait for dispatcher approval by radio in order to advance, and hand-thrown switches' rather than electrically-operated switches (also called turnouts).  Long stretches of single-track and relatively short sidings require passenger trains to wait for longer freight trains to clear a section before continuing.

Track Speeds in San Diego County.

NCTD maintains the railroad to Class V operations which allow for maximum passenger train speeds of 90 miles per hour.

Track Speeds in Orange County.

Track and signal conditions in Orange County are generally FRA Class IV, with maximum speeds of 79 mph for passenger rail and 50 mph for freight, though there are stretches of 90 mph track for passenger rail and 55 mph for freight particularly between San Juan Capistrano and Santa Ana.

Amtrak Projects were displayed in the lobby as well.  Double-click for larger copies.

Ventura County Projects
LOSSAN Corridor (ES-1)
ES-1 southern section
ES-1 northern section

Orange County Projects
San Diego County Projects

Still from Mr. Brown's LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency Table 1-1 Summary:

Current and Future Train Volumes (selected)


Coast Starlight (LA - SLO) Two through 2025.

Coast Daylight [Proposed] (LA - San Francisco) Two by 2015,  Four by 2025.

Pacific Surfliner (North:  LA - Goleta)  Now 10, 2015 - 12,  2025 - 14.

Pacific Surfliner (North:  Goleta - SLO)  Now 4, 2015 - 6,  2025 - 32.

Pacific Surfliner (South:  LA - San Diego)  Now 22, 2015 - 26,  2025 - 32.

Southwest Chief (LA - Fullerton)  Now 2 and 2 through 2025.

Metrolink  All routes more than double by 2015, except between Laguna Niguel and Oceanside remains at 10.

COASTER (Oceanside - San Diego)  More than double by 2025,  from 22 currently.

Proposed:  Ventura-Santa Barbara Commuter Rail  None in 2006, 6 in 2015 to 8 in 2025

Freight Services:

UP (North of LA)   2006 - 4,  2015 - 6,  2025 - 8.
BNSF (LA - Fullerton)   2006 - 75,  2025 - 99.
BNSF (Fullerton - San Diego)  2006 - 6 to 8, 2025 - 9 to 12.

Summary of all Trains increase over 2005:  2015 +49,  2025 +252.


Intermediate - completed within 1 to 3 years.

Near-term - completed within 4 to 8 years.

Vision - completed within 9 to 20 years.

Los Angeles County:

Union Station run-Through Tracks - Near- Term  $640M

San Diego County:

Camp Pendleton - Double Tracking - Immediate - $39M
Del Mar - Camino Del Mar Tunnel option - Vision - $365M
Del Mar - Penasquitos Lagoon Bypass Tunnel option - Vision - $560M

Early Action Projects - Ready To Go (Selected):

LA-Fullerton Triple Track,  LAUS Station Track, Fullerton Parking Structure, Placentia Avenue.

As I said above, you might find the entire report online under:  LOSSAN Corridor Strategic Business Plan, Making Progress Advancing Mobility, December 2007.

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