|Owner||San Bernardino County Transportation Authority|
|Area served||Redlands and San Bernardino, California|
|Locale||San Bernardino Valley|
|Transit type||Commuter rail|
|Number of lines||1|
|Number of stations||5|
|Daily ridership||1,600–1,800 (expected)|
|Chief executive||Trischelle Baysden|
|Operation will start||October 24, 2022|
|Operator(s)||Southern California Regional Rail Authority|
|Character||Shared commuter rail with at-grade crossings|
|Number of vehicles||3 Stadler FLIRT DMUs|
1 Stadler FLIRT H2 hydrail
|Train length||163 ft (50 m)|
|Headway||30-minute peak period, 60-minute off-peak|
|System length||9 mi (14 km)|
|No. of tracks||mostly single|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
Arrow is a commuter rail line in San Bernardino County, California, United States under construction as of April 2022[update], 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.
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.
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. Extant infrastructure includes the PE right of way, the ATSF's Redlands depot and the Redlands Trolley Barn.
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. This date has progressively been delayed to 2013, 2015, and 2018. The project was then known as the Redlands Passenger Rail Project.
By 2011, the estimated cost of construction had clarification needed] an estimate of between $130 million and $150 million. 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. 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. Work was initially expected to begin in late 2012 or 2013, with the estimated start of service ranging from 2015 to as late as 2018.[
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. In February 2014, the project was delayed again, when a SANBAG document said that "construction is planned to begin in late 2015 with operation in 2018." In 2015, SANBAG officials said the line was expected to be complete and operating in 2020. By July 2016, construction was planned to begin in 2017 and service in 2020. 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.
The service was officially dubbed Arrow in November 2016. The San Bernardino Association of Governments is expected to seek bids for mainline track rehabilitation valued at $132.3 million in January 2019.
The first phase of construction includes replacing all track on the line, rebuilding five bridges, and installing 24 grade crossings. Groundbreaking for construction on the line took place on July 19, 2019. Service is scheduled to launch in early 2022.
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. The route and stations were shown as an under-construction extension of the San Bernardino Line on Metrolink's transit map that month. As of March 25, 2021, construction was said to be over 90% completed.
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, and additional passing sidings to allow 15-minute peak period headways and 30-minute off-peak headways. 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. Running costs would be between $1 million and $14 million for light rail or between $12 million and $16 million for diesel multiple units. A potential further phase would expand trackage in a loop to Highland and San Bernardino International Airport before returning to downtown San Bernardino.
Services may eventually be expanded along other Metrolink corridors in the future.
The 9-mile (14 km) route uses a former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway line. 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. 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. The Esri New York St. fifth station was later added after Esri proposed the stop and offered funds for the addition. 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), and the University of Redlands.
SANBAG and the city of Loma Linda made initial plans in 2015 for a station on California Street in that city, but it was ultimately dropped from consideration.[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.
Low-volume freight service by BNSF will continue on a portion of the route.
|San Bernardino||San Bernardino Transit Center|| Metrolink: Inland Empire–Orange County San Bernardino |
Omnitrans: sbX, express, and local routes
Mountain Transit : Big Bear OTM, Crestline OTM
|Tippecanoe||Omnitrans: local route 8|
|Redlands–Downtown||Omnitrans: local route 15|
|University of Redlands|
In September 2010, the SANBAG considered options that included Metrolink train service, other types of electrified or diesel trains, and buses. In April 2011, SANBAG announced that it had settled on conventional heavy rail equipment for the service. This would be provided by refurbished ex-Metrolink rolling stock operating on 30-minute peak period headways and hourly off-peak headways. 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. 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.
In 2015, due to community opposition to Metrolink stock, SANBAG chose diesel multiple units (DMUs) to serve as the line's rolling stock. Some Metrolink trains will continue to a station near Arrow's Downtown Redlands station along the rehabilitated track. Stadler Rail FLIRT DMUs were selected for service on the line under a $31.4 million contract. 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.
|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|