A $220-million plan to improve speeds and service frequencies on Metrolink's Antelope Valley commuter rail line is inching toward reality.

Last week, Metro issued a notice of preparation for an environmental impact report for the project, which would add new double track and other improvements at three locations along the nearly 77-mile corridor between Lancaster and Los Angeles Union Station.  The proposed upgrades include:

  • Two 1,000-foot-long storage tracks at the Lancaster Terminal rail yard
  • A new center platform at Lancaster;
  • Roughly 8,400 feet of double track between Soledad Canyon Road and Golden Oak Road;
  • Second station platform at Santa Clarita Station
  • Approximately 6,300 feet of double track from Balboa Boulevard to Sierra Highway (between the Sylmar/San Fernando and Newhall Metrolink Stations)

Metro and Metrolink, which recently secured $107 million in state funding for the project, are expected to complete construction of the improvements in 2027.

As a separate project, the two agencies are also moving forward with plans for approximately 2.9 miles of new double track along the Antelope Valley Line between the Burbank Airport North and Sun Valley stations.  Those improvements are intended as the first phase of a larger effort to add double-track to the corridor between the airport and Sylmar/San Fernando Station.

The new segments of double-track, when fully implemented, will permit Metro to begin regular 60-minute bi-directional service on the Antelope Valley Line, as well as 30-minute bi-directional service between Union Station and Santa Clarita.

The planned improvements to the corridor between Union Station and the Antelope Valley fit into Metrolink's larger SCORE program, which calls for investing $10 billion to improve service across the more than 500-mile commuter rail system through targeted improvements.  Run-through tracks planned for the south side of the Union Station rail yard are a signature element of the plan, and would permit through-routing of Amtrak and Metrolink trains.

The corridor, which is partially shared with Metrolink's Ventura County Line, is also slated to be shared with California's high-speed rail system in the distant future.