Arrow
RPRP Arrow Logo.png
Redlands train station.jpg
Overview
OwnerSan Bernardino County Transportation Authority
Area servedRedlands and San Bernardino, California
LocaleSan Bernardino Valley[1]
Transit typeCommuter rail[2]
Number of lines1
Number of stations5
Daily ridership1,600–1,800 (expected)[3]
Chief executiveTrischelle Baysden[4]
Websitewww.gosbcta.com/project/redlands-passenger-rail-project-arrow/
Operation
Operation will startOctober 24, 2022; 13 days' time (2022-10-24)
Operator(s)Southern California Regional Rail Authority[5]
Infrastructure manager(s)BNSF
SCRRA
CharacterShared commuter rail with at-grade crossings
Number of vehicles3 Stadler FLIRT DMUs
1 Stadler FLIRT H2 hydrail
Train length163 ft (50 m)
Headway30-minute peak period, 60-minute off-peak
Technical
System length9 mi (14 km)
No. of tracksmostly single
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
System map

San Bernardino–Downtown sbXBicycle facilitiesParking
Tippecanoe
layover facility
Esri
Redlands–Downtown Parking
University Parking
Orange Blossom Trail

Arrow is a commuter rail line in San Bernardino County, California, United States under construction as of April 2022, planned to run between the San Bernardino Transit Center in downtown San Bernardino and the University of Redlands in Redlands. Initially undertaken by Omnitrans, operations were transferred to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority in 2019. Service is expected to commence on October 24, 2022.[6]

In planning, the system was known as Redlands Passenger Rail Project (RPRP or RPR), and underwent several design revisions before arriving at the final blend of rail technologies.

History

See also: Redlands Line; Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway § History; and Redlands, California § Railroads

Previous rail service in Redlands included the Pacific Electric "Red Car" trolley system and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The PE's San Bernardino Line served Redlands from Los Angeles by way of its Eastern District, which opened in 1905 and was abandoned in 1937.[7] Extant infrastructure includes the PE right of way,[8] the ATSF's Redlands depot and the Redlands Trolley Barn.[9]

Proposals for a restored passenger rail connection between San Bernardino and Redlands were made as early as the 1990s, with the service originally projected to start in 1995.[10] This date has progressively been delayed to 2013, 2015, and 2018.[3] The project was then known as the Redlands Passenger Rail Project.[11][12]

former logo using the original project name
former logo using the original project name

By 2011, the estimated cost of construction had dropped to[clarification needed] an estimate of between $130 million and $150 million.[13] The first contract for the project was awarded on November 2, 2011, by San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) to HDR, Inc. for engineering and environmental services.[14] The contract was an amendment to an existing contract for HDR to work on a separate project in the region, the extension of the San Bernardino Line to a new terminus at the San Bernardino Transit Center.[14] Work was initially expected to begin in late 2012 or 2013,[10] with the estimated start of service ranging from 2015[13] to as late as 2018.

Under re-construction Downtown Redlands station in preparation for Arrow-Metrolink trains from opposite platform. October 2020.
Under re-construction Downtown Redlands station in preparation for Arrow-Metrolink trains from opposite platform. October 2020.
Completed Metrolink Redlands Downtown Station, 2022.
Completed Metrolink Redlands Downtown Station, 2022.

The project encountered further delays, including the U.S. federal government's shutdown in October 2013, after which point the construction was slated to begin in fall of 2016.[15] In February 2014, the project was delayed again,[citation needed] when a SANBAG document said that "construction is planned to begin in late 2015 with operation in 2018."[16] In 2015, SANBAG officials said the line was expected to be complete and operating in 2020.[13][17] By July 2016, construction was planned to begin in 2017 and service in 2020.[11][18][19][20] In July 2016, the project received an additional $8.6 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation in the eighth round of the TIGER grant program.[19]

The service was officially dubbed Arrow in November 2016.[11][21] The San Bernardino Association of Governments is expected to seek bids for mainline track rehabilitation valued at $132.3 million in January 2019.[22]

University Station eastern terminus under construction, April 2020.
University Station eastern terminus under construction, April 2020.

Construction

The first phase of construction includes replacing all track on the line, rebuilding five bridges, and installing 24 grade crossings.[3] Groundbreaking for construction on the line took place on July 19, 2019.[23] Service is scheduled to launch in early 2022.[24]

By October 2019, Omnitrans faced increasing deficits and reduced service. Thusly, the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority Transit Committee voted to transfer the operation and construction duties to Metrolink.[5] The route and stations were shown as an under-construction extension of the San Bernardino Line on Metrolink's transit map that month.[25] As of March 25, 2021, construction was said to be over 90% completed.[26][27][28]

Future

In 2011, planning for phase two of the project saw light rail vehicles or diesel multiple units replace the conventional rolling stock (then envisioned to be ex-Metrolink heavy rail equipment), the construction of five more stations,[14] and additional passing sidings to allow 15-minute peak period headways and 30-minute off-peak headways.[13] The estimated construction cost is between $80 million and $100 million for light rail or between $225 million and $300 million for diesel multiple units.[13] Running costs would be between $1 million and $14 million for light rail or between $12 million and $16 million for diesel multiple units.[13] A potential further phase would expand trackage in a loop to Highland and San Bernardino International Airport before returning to downtown San Bernardino.[10]

Services may eventually be expanded along other Metrolink corridors in the future.[8]

Route

The 9-mile (14 km) route uses a former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway line.[3][13] While mostly a single track line, 2 miles (3.2 km) of double track will be constructed in the middle of the route to allow vehicles to pass each other.[17] Four initial stops were proposed: two in Redlands and two in San Bernardino, with an initial projected ridership of between 1,600 and 1,800 passengers daily.[3] The Esri New York St. fifth station was later added after Esri proposed the stop and offered funds for the addition.[29] With connecting service to Metrolink trains and sbX bus rapid transit in San Bernardino, the five new stations would be located at the San Bernardino Transit Center, Waterman Avenue next to the Inland Regional Center, New York Street near Esri headquarters, Downtown Redlands (adjacent to and possibly integrating the historic Redlands Santa Fe Depot),[30][31] and the University of Redlands.[17][18]

SANBAG and the city of Loma Linda made initial plans in 2015 for a station on California Street in that city,[12] but it was ultimately dropped from consideration.[17][failed verification] In November 2016, SANBAG officials said the Waterman Avenue station would be built at Tippecanoe Avenue instead, citing higher ridership at the proposed Tippecanoe station due to the Inland Regional Center's heightened security after the San Bernardino mass shooting, as well as zoning modifications near the Waterman stop.[11][21]

Low-volume freight service by BNSF will continue on a portion of the route.[14]

Stations

City Station Connections
San Bernardino San Bernardino Transit Center[32] Metrolink (California) Metrolink: Inland Empire–Orange County San Bernardino
Omnitrans Omnitrans: sbX, express, and local routes

Mountain Transit Mountain Transit : Big Bear OTM, Crestline OTM
Victor Valley Transit Authority Victor Valley Transit Authority: Route 15
Riverside Transit Agency Riverside Transit Agency: Route 200
Beaumont Transit System Beaumont Transit System: Commuter Link 120
SunLine Transit Agency SunLine Transit Agency: 10 Commuter Link
FlixBus FlixBus : Las Vegas, Phoenix-tempe, San Diego, and Ventura bus routes[33]

Tippecanoe Omnitrans Omnitrans:[34] local route 8
Redlands Esri
Redlands–Downtown Omnitrans Omnitrans:[35][36] local route 15
University of Redlands

Rolling stock

In September 2010, the SANBAG considered options that included Metrolink train service, other types of electrified or diesel trains, and buses.[37] In April 2011, SANBAG announced that it had settled on conventional heavy rail equipment for the service.[3] This would be provided by refurbished ex-Metrolink rolling stock[10] operating on 30-minute peak period headways and hourly off-peak headways.[13] While SANBAG preferred electrified light rail, its $268.1 million cost was over the $250 million limit for the federal Small Starts transit grants that would have been used.[3] The estimated cost of heavy rail service was $198.6 million, which could be paid for using federal transportation grants that were based on population and sales tax revenues.[3]

In 2015, due to community opposition to Metrolink stock, SANBAG chose diesel multiple units (DMUs) to serve as the line's rolling stock.[17][18][20] Some Metrolink trains will continue to a station near Arrow's Downtown Redlands station along the rehabilitated track.[38][31][8] Stadler Rail FLIRT[39] DMUs were selected for service on the line under a $31.4 million contract.[40] An additional FLIRT utilizing hydrogen fuel cell energy storage is being developed by Stadler for use on the line, with a planned introduction in 2024.[41]

Qty ordered Year(s) Built Numbers Make & Model Type Notes
3 2017– 3401–3403 Stadler Rail FLIRT DMU
1 2019– Stadler Rail FLIRT ZEMU Option for 3 additional units[41]

References

  1. ^ "Redlands Passenger Rail & Future Arrow Hybrid-Rail Service". San Bernardino County Transportation Authority. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  2. ^ Whitehead, Brian (December 5, 2017). "San Bernardino leaders celebrate debut of new passenger rail from Santa Fe Depot to city transit center". San Bernardino Sun. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h MacDuff, Cassie (May 16, 2011). "Imperfect Rail Solution". The Press-Enterprise. Riverside, California: Press-Enterprise Corporation. Archived from the original on February 24, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  4. ^ "Omnitrans names Baysden director of rail". Progressive Railroading. June 28, 2017. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Scauzillo, Steve (October 21, 2019). "$520 million deficit has Omnitrans eyeing layoffs and bus-line reductions, but is it enough?". The Sun. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  6. ^ "Hearing 'nonstop' train whistles in Redlands, when will they stop?". Redlands Daily Facts.
  7. ^ "Eastern District: Redlands". Pacific Electric Railway Historical Society. Archived from the original on December 5, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c Emerson, Sandra (November 1, 2017). "Take a virtual tour of Redlands rail service that will begin in 2020". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  9. ^ Muckenfuss, Mark (July 25, 2015). "Last remnant of the red cars". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d Sears, Jan (May 8, 2011). "TRANSPORTATION: Metrolink trains will connect Redlands, San Bernardino". The Press-Enterprise. Riverside, California: Press-Enterprise Corporation. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  11. ^ a b c d Emerson, Sandra (November 16, 2016). "Redlands Passenger Rail Service to be Called Arrow". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Emerson, Sandra (May 6, 2015). "Redlands City Council updated on Redlands Passenger Rail project". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h "Contract awarded for California commuter line". Trains (Registration required). Waukesha, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. November 2, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  14. ^ a b c d "Redlands Passenger Rail Project contract awarded". Railway Gazette International. Sutton, Surrey: DVV Media UK Ltd. November 2, 2011. Archived from the original on August 4, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  15. ^ Waldner, Erin (November 1, 2013). "REDLANDS: Passenger Rail Plan Slowed by Shutdown". The Press-Enterprise. Riverside, California: Press-Enterprise Corporation. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  16. ^ "Redlands Passenger Rail Project Fact Sheet" (PDF). San Bernardino, California: San Bernardino Associated Governments. February 26, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 22, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  17. ^ a b c d e Emerson, Sandra (September 15, 2015). "SanBAG gives updates on cost, timeline of Redlands rail project". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  18. ^ a b c "Redlands Passenger Rail Project" (PDF). SANBAG. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 22, 2015. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  19. ^ a b Emerson, Sandra (July 28, 2016). "Redlands Passenger Rail Project gets federal grant boost". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  20. ^ a b Emerson, Sandra (November 7, 2015). "SanBAG begins design of Redlands Passenger Rail Project". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  21. ^ a b "Next Stop: Tippecanoe Avenue in San Bernardino". Redlands Passenger Rail Project Newsletter. SANBAG. December 8, 2016. Archived from the original on March 21, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  22. ^ "California Pulse: Construction Project News for December 2018". ENR California. December 3, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  23. ^ "Groundbreaking Held For Redlands-To-San-Bernardino Rail Line". Redlands-Loma Linda, CA Patch. July 22, 2019.
  24. ^ "Construction begins for rail connecting Redlands to San Bernardino". Redlands Daily Facts. July 19, 2019.
  25. ^ "Timetable" (PDF). Metrolink. SCRRA. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  26. ^ "End of the line".
  27. ^ "Redlands Passenger Rail Project 80% complete".
  28. ^ "Road construction continues on Redlands Passenger Rail Project".
  29. ^ "Story Map Journal".
  30. ^ Emerson, Sandra (December 7, 2017). "City now has a name for the planned rail station in downtown Redlands". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  31. ^ a b Emerson, Sandra (November 15, 2017). "What new ownership at Redlands Santa Fe Depot could mean to future rail service". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  32. ^ "Auguste 2022 Bus Book" (PDF). Omnitrans. Omnitrans. Retrieved September 10, 2022.
  33. ^ "Bus Routes Overview". Flixbus. Retrieved September 10, 2022.
  34. ^ "System Map Aug. 2021-Jan. 2022".
  35. ^ "System Map Aug. 2021-Jan. 2022".
  36. ^ https://metrolinktrains.com/globalassets/about/map/metrolink-map.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  37. ^ Sears, Jan (September 9, 2010). "Passenger rail connection to Redlands still years away". The Press-Enterprise. Riverside, California: Press-Enterprise Corporation. Archived from the original on December 23, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  38. ^ Emerson, Sandra (August 19, 2016). "Where Redlands rail project is heading". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  39. ^ "Technical Proposal" (PDF). San Bernardino County Transportation Authority. Stadler. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  40. ^ Emerson, Sandra (July 28, 2017). "Redlands takes next step in bringing passenger rail service to city". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  41. ^ a b "Stadler to deliver hydrogen-powered train to SBCTA". Railway Age. November 15, 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2019.