Proposed Inland Empire Train Would Connect San Bernardino and Redlands

San Bernardino Santa Fe Depot  I Photo by Ed Fuentes

Residents of San Bernardino and Redlands may be connected by a commuter train system in just a few years. In a series of public presentations, the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SanBAG) is introducing a transit enhancing project in the Redlands Corridor (see map below).

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Phase one for the nine-mile commuter rail system, using existing tracks and refurbished Metrolink cars, will have stops between the proposed Intermodal Transit Center & Transit Village in San Bernardino, before continuing on to the University of Redlands.

Upgrades to rails, crossings and bridges will be part of the first phase with additional tracks and stops planned for subsequent phases. Switching to light rail cars may also be be considered.

The cost of the first phase will fall between $130 million and $150 million, says SanBAG of the multi-stakeholder project that includes the Southern California Association of Governments, Federal Transit Administration, and the cities of Redlands, Loma Linda, and San Bernardino.

Trains can begin running in 30-minute intervals during morning and evening commuting hours, and every hour during the day, according to planners.

Loma Linda politicians, however, feel they are being left out since existing tracks have no direct connection to their city, reports Loma Linda Patch. "Unfortunately we're stuck with the layout, the geography that's there of the current rail line," said councilmember Stan Brauer.

The proposals for the Redlands Passenger Rail Project include plans to make connections to Metrolink.

"We're getting ready to launch May 9 with the express trains into Los Angeles from San Bernardino," said SanBAG spokesperson Tim Watkins earlier this month, adding the combined transit option would allow a commute from Union Station in Los Angeles to Redland to be under 80 minutes, according to Redlands Daily Facts.

Planning on the Redlands Passenger Rail Project will begin in the summer, and construction will begin in the next 18 to 24 months, with completion expected by 2015.

SanBAG will hold another public information meeting on Tuesday, May 17 at 5 p.m. It will be located at an ideal place: the San Bernardino Santa Fe Depot, a proposed stop.

Redlands Passenger Rail Project Plan I Download the map (.pdf) from SanBAG

About the Author

Ed Fuentes is an arts journalist, photographer, graphic designer, and digital muralist who covers a variety of topics and geographies in Southern California for KCET.
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