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Funding Secured To Allow Amtrak Special Event Trains From LA To The Coachella And Stagecoach Fests


Starting next year, people will be able to take special Amtrak trains from Los Angeles to the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals in Indio.  More from KVCR's Ken Vincent.



Date March 6, 2019

RCTC Receives Funding for Coachella Valley Special Event Train
New train platform in Indio may lead to train service to festivals by 2020

In a move that should be music to the ears of Coachella and Stagecoach festival attendees next year, the California State Transportation Agency awarded $5.9 million to the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) to construct a temporary train station platform in Indio, paving the way for special event trains as early as next year.

RCTC competed for the grant through the State Rail Assistance program funded by the gas tax and is contributing an additional $2.7 million to build the $8.6 million project. The funding will build a temporary train platform at the City of Indio Transit Center, along with improved pedestrian access to Amtrak rail service that operates on adjacent to the tracks.

RCTC and the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN) have requested access to run special Amtrak trains to the music festivals. Concert-goers would board the Amtrak train at Los Angeles Union Station to travel to the Indio Transit Center, then ride a connecting shuttle to the festival grounds.

LOSSAN Vice Chair and RCTC Immediate Past Chair Dana Reed credited the late Cathedral City Councilmember Greg Pettis for bringing the service to the area.

“Today’s historic funding announcement would not have happened without the relentless advocacy of Greg Pettis,” Reed said. “For decades, Greg walked the halls of Sacramento, Washington, DC, and every corner of the Coachella Valley to rally support for bringing rail

service to our communities. He got us to this junction and we will continue full steam
ahead for him and for the people of the Coachella Valley.”

With funding on the way, RCTC will begin coordinating the construction schedule and
design details for the 900-foot station platform, trackwork, drainage and pedestrian
access. Construction could begin late this year.

“Finally, we are seeing our train to the Coachella Valley become a reality,” said Jan Harnik,
second vice chair of RCTC. “Our world class region deserves to be accessible by rail, and
I am thrilled that today our vision is moving down the tracks.”

The special event trains will provide a great opportunity while efforts continue for
development of a long-term San Gorgonio-Coachella Valley Rail Corridor Service.
Environmental and engineering studies are under way now for this project, which
proposes two daily round-trips using Amtrak service between Los Angeles and Indio. For
information about this project and to register for updates, visit rctc.org/cvrail.

The announcement also comes on the heels of RCTC’s #RebootMyCommute campaign,
which launched today. The campaign is encouraging Riverside County residents to provide
feedback about their transportation challenges and to suggest innovative ideas to
improve mobility. Visit RebootMyCommute.org to learn more.

Ken Vincent has retired. We appreciate the way he shared his expertise with many of our young interns and reporters over the nearly eight years he spent as KVCR's lead journalist and Morning Edition host. We wish him a happy and relaxing retirement as he spends more time in his garden and, as he mentioned, more time on the golf course. Thanks Ken!
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