Commuter rail service through the San Fernando Valley has moved a step closer to reality with an agreement between the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission and the Southern Pacific Railroad Co. on the initial hours of service.
Two rail routes will be reserved for commuter service from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays under the agreement reached last week, said John Rinard, chief engineer for the transportation commission. The trains would run about once an hour during those periods, he said.
As demand increases, the trains would be allowed to share the tracks with freight trains during other times of the day and night, Rinard said, although the slower freight trains could cause delays.
One route is between Moorpark and downtown Los Angeles, with stops planned in Simi Valley, Chatsworth, Northridge, Van Nuys, Burbank and Glendale. The other is between Santa Clarita and downtown, with stops in San Fernando, Burbank and Glendale.
In October, the commission agreed to pay $450 million to buy the right of way to 175 miles of tracks and to purchase nearby land for stations and parks. Commuter rail's advantage over other rail services is that it uses existing tracks and therefore can begin quickly, in this case by 1992.