The Antelope Valley Line (AVL) plays a critical role in connecting communities in North Los Angeles County to Los Angeles Union Station and the cities in between. Prior to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it carried the third highest ridership in Metrolink’s commuter rail system and was responsible for removing approximately one million weekday automobile trips from the region’s roadways a year. Consistent with the State Rail Plan and Metrolink’s Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion (SCORE) program, and in anticipation of substantial population and employment growth in the North Los Angeles County region over the next 20 years, Metro seeks to improve rail service on the AVL to realize its full potential as a regional mobility enhancement and not just a peak-hour commuter service. Accordingly, the AVL Capacity and Service Improvements Program seeks to:
• Provide regular and more frequent Metrolink services to improve regional connectivity and accessibility through the enabling of 30-minute bi-directional passenger rail service to the Santa Clarita Valley and 60-minute bi-directional service to Lancaster along the AVL corridor.
• Improve passenger service reliability and efficiency on the AVL rail corridor.
• Provide necessary infrastructure improvements to enhance operational flexibility and reliability along the AVL corridor.
• Support the vision and goals for rail service in the region consistent with the California State Rail 2040 Plan and Metrolink’s SCORE program.
The Proposed Project involves the construction of three capital improvements which would provide the capacity required to allow Metrolink commuter rail service to increase along the AVL to 30-minute bi-directional headways between Los Angeles Union Station and the Santa Clarita Valley and up to 60-minute bi-directional headways between the Santa Clarita Valley and the Lancaster Terminal by the year 2028. The three capital improvements include the following: the Balboa Double Track Extension would extend the existing double track approximately 6,300 feet north from Balboa Boulevard to Sierra Highway in the City of Los Angeles; the Canyon Siding Extension would add approximately 8,400 feet of new double track between Soledad Canyon Road to Golden Oak Road and also provide a second station platform at the existing Santa Clarita Metrolink station in the City of Santa Clarita; and the Lancaster Terminal Improvements would include expansion of the existing train layover facilities by adding one new 1,000-foot-long and two 500-foot-long train storage tracks in the vicinity of the existing Lancaster Terminal Metrolink Station in the City of Lancaster.