Rep. Cisneros Announces $30 Million New Federal Funds to Improve Metrolink Rail Service in Fullerton and Regional Freight Rail Service

June 13, 2019
Press Release

FULLERTON, CA – Today, Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39) announced that Metrolink and BNSF is set to receive a $30,000,000 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grant to fund a portion of the $130 Million Fullerton Junction Interlocking Rail Project. The grant funding provides for two mainline tracks to improve and expand inter-city commuter passenger rail service for travel between Fullerton and Los Angeles to the west and Fullerton, Oceanside, and San Diego to the south. The project also includes two mainline tracks to accommodate additional freight and passenger rail service between Fullerton and Riverside and Fullerton and San Bernardino and the construction of a 4.8-mile BNSF 3rd main line track.

“These vital federal funds will add speed and capacity to our regional rail system, saving rail commuters time and money by making the service more rapid and reliable. The new Metrolink leadership team is working hard to expand service, speed up travel times and improve reliability for the people in my district, these funds go a long way in making overdue investments to our transportation system,” said Rep. Cisneros. “One of my top priorities in Congress is to deliver infrastructure investments that improve the quality of life in our region. I am hopeful that these enhancements to the rail corridor will move us in the right direction to support my long-term goal of securing a Metrolink Station in the City of Placentia. With more than 275,000 riders utilizing the Fullerton Metrolink Station per year, these funds will improve commute time, make train travel more reliable, reduce traffic congestion across the district, and expand our transportation options.”

Metrolink thanks Congressman Gil Cisneros for his support in obtaining federal funds for needed infrastructure improvements on one of the region’s busiest rail corridors,” said Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “This CRISI grant will fund another track east of the Fullerton Station to improve safety and reliability while separating passenger and freight rail traffic, which will reduce delays for commuters and allow goods to get to market on schedule.”

“The City of Placentia’s Old Town Revitalization Plan activates the area with transportation developments like the Metrolink station. With the infusion of a $30 million CRISI grant to assist with rail coordination, the Metrolink station project will finally move forward,” said City of Placentia Mayor Rhonda Shader. “The City of Placentia is grateful for Congressman Gil Cisneros’ partnership in securing the grant and dedication to improving transportation in Placentia and throughout the region.”

Rep. Cisneros is a Navy veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee and House Veterans Affairs Committee. You can find the full text of the grant letter here.

Additional Background

Key Project Benefits: The Fullerton Junction Interlocking Project will separate freight and passenger train movements, and provide additional capacity, resulting in the following benefits, compared to the No-Build condition:

  • Improvements to safety and reduction of 213.3 hours of current train delay for passenger trains traversing the area (equating to 71% of current delay). By 2030/2040, the avoided passenger delay could reach 910 train hours per year.
  • 6.7 million person-hours of travel time saved (annual average for 20 years)
  • 42% increase in ridership –more than 2.3 million net new riders per year. Annual average for 20 years is more than 1 million per year for Amtrak (Pacific Surfliner and Southwest Chief) and nearly 1.3 million per year for Metrolink (OC and 91/PVL Lines). This increase is in addition to the 71% of ridership losses avoided through improved on-time performance, which would otherwise have been 35% (Metrolink) and 5.4% (Amtrak).
  • Reduction of roadway congestion through elimination of approximately 1.4 million trucks per year by 2042, as more goods are shipped by rail.
  • Improvement in operational reliability and flexibility through construction of 3rd main line between Atwood and Esperanza, which creates a place to stage up to two freight trains to the east of all of passenger train movements without delaying any passenger service operating between Los Angeles and Riverside or San Bernardino.
  • Over the Project’s useful life of 20 years, it will deliver:
    • $739.9 million in passenger travel time savings;
    • $88.2 million in freight transit time savings
    • $30.2 million in accident cost savings;
    • $17.3 million in criteria emission savings; and
    • 837,484 tons of CO2 emissions eliminated.