TrainWeb "It is heard ..."
Railroad information of interest heard through the grapevine.
Added Apr 11, 1999, Sunday:
This is a correction to the prior post made on Nov 09, 1998. I don't know if I was aware of
it at that time, but I have been aware for a few months now that the Amtrak Sunset Limited
would not be able to stop at the current San Bernardino station if it was re-routed to go
through Fullerton. My understanding is that what is under consideration is to change the
inland empire stop to be at the current Riverside Metrolink Station. Because of track
configurations, changing of the Sunset Limited to take the same route as the Southwest Chief
as far as Riverside would preclude it from being able to get to the San Bernardino station.
A change of route for the Amtrak Sunset Limited to stop in Fullerton and Riverside instead of
Pomona and Ontario is a reasonable consideration is because of a number of
reasons. Fullerton is a fully staffed Amtrak station handling both the Southwest Cheif and
20 San Diegan trains each day! The station features checked baggage and is a logical point
for northbound passengers from the San Diegans to switch to the eastbound Sunset Limited,
just as they do now for the northeast bound Southwest Chief. The present route of the
Sunset Limited stops at Pomona and Ontario which are both unmanned Amtrak stations, without
checked baggage, and both are in areas of questionable safety. Unlike Fullerton, very few
passengers get on or off the train at these two stations. The most activity seen in Ontario
is when a westbound Sunset Limited is running late and the passengers are transferred to
buses to catch up to the northbound Coast Starlight!
Changing from San Bernardino to Riverside for the Amtrak Southwest Chief and also adding
Riverside as a stop on the Sunset Limited is a logical move since Riverside has become the
hub of activity for the Inland Empire. The Riverside station is more centrally located to
the downtown population area, parking and bus services. The Riverside station has also
seen a significant amount of improvements including expansions to multiple platforms off
the mainline and a pedestrian crossover bridge.
Although Ontario has created an adequate station platform and Pomona is in the process
of rehabilitation of their station, the best utilization for these stations would probably
be for a future Metrolink commuter line. TrainWeb strongly endorses any effort to reroute
the Amtrak Sunset Limited through Fullerton and to move the Inland Empire stop for both the
Sunset Limited and Southwest Chief from San Bernardino to Riverside. We would also like to
see further reconsideration of routing the future Los Angeles to Las Vegas train along this
same route and have that train also stop in Fullerton and Riverside.
Added Nov 09, 1998, Monday:
The Amtrak Sunset Limited / Texas Eagle may be rerouted to go through
Fullerton and San Bernardino, California instead of Pomona and Ontario,
California. If anyone has a more definitive word or dates regarding
this topic, please send e-mail to me.
Added Nov 08, 1998, Sunday:
Reliable sources from Amtrak West report that negotiations related to
the Los Angeles to Las Vegas Talgo Train have run into difficulty and the
earliest this services is expected to go into operation is in late 1999,
but more likely in 2000. This extra Talgo equipment might be placed into
service on the Amtrak San Joaquins until needed on the Las Vegas run. So,
while you won't be able to take a new Talgo to Las Vegas anytime soon, you
can ride one to Bakersfield instead!
Added Nov 08, 1998, Sunday:
Control of the "Amtrak Capitols" have been taken over by the new Joint
Powers Board. Over the next 5 years or so they hope to increase the number
of Capitol trains to ten per day. On the sad side, the new Joint Powers
Board declined to participate in the Comprehensive Amtrak California
Timetable project. (Does this mean they didn't want to contribute funds to
produce it?) As a result, Amtrak California has decided to not produce
this useful timetable. Thus, don't look for that convenient pocket guide
at your local Amtrak station! The last edition contained comprehensive
timetables for the San Diegans, San Joaquins, Capitols, Coast Starlight,
Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle, Southwest Chief and California Zephyr. It all
provided brief maps of the Light Rail Transit systems in San Diego, San
Jose, Los Angeles, as well as BART. Maps were also included for Caltrain
and Metrolink along with connection information to all of the above rail
systems as well as quite a bit of other useful information. These handy
pocket Amtrak California Timetables will be missed!
I often run across information that I think visitors to TrainWeb will find
interesting, but I don't consider the information solid enough to be placed
on the "TrainWeb News" page (www.trainweb.com/news). Thus, I have created
this page where I can post such information. Where I have some
knowledge of the reliability of the source of the information, that will be
indicated. TrainWeb has a very small staff and we don't consider our
primary function as being a news organization. Thus, it is not possible for
us to take the time to follow through and confirm the facts behind all the
information that we receive. Please consider the reliability of the above
postings in that light.
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