WASHINGTON – Amtrak and the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) are moving forward today with a Memorandum of Understanding for Amtrak to provide the train and engine crews needed to operate Metrolink commuter trains on all seven of its lines in the Los Angeles area beginning July 1, 2010.
“Amtrak and its employees appreciate the confidence and trust Metrolink has placed in us to provide their passengers the highest standards of safety, efficiency and reliability,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joseph H. Boardman, adding the commuter rail system on average operates 149 trains and carries 43,000 riders every weekday.
Boardman noted that among the reasons why SCRRA decided to enter into this MOU with Amtrak is because of the railroad’s unique qualifications and experience in intercity and commuter passenger rail operations, its present operation of intercity trains over four of the seven lines that comprise Metrolink service, its prior experience as the original operator of Metrolink trains from 1992 to 2005, and how its multiple safety programs will complement and enhance the safety efforts being undertaken by SCRRA.
The MOU calls for a Final Agreement to be reached by December 31, 2009 and an initial four year contract with the potential for two additional three-year extensions. Within the next two weeks a Transition Team will hold its first meeting and SCRRA will issue a limited Notice to Proceed permitting Amtrak to begin the work required to complete mobilization and assume operations.
Amtrak will work closely with SCRRA, Metrolink, and the current operator and its employees over the coming weeks and months to ensure a smooth transition, officials said.