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River debate must start on the right track

October 09, 2005

Re "These trains should run under

water," Current, Oct. 2

The tracks on the east bank of the L.A. River characterized in this article as "little used" are in fact bustling with 10 daily Metrolink passenger trains that carry 4,200 riders between Los Angeles, Montebello, City of Industry, Pomona, Ontario and Riverside. Between passenger trains there are about 35 freight trains using this track to complete regional and transcontinental journeys, including many goods out of the San Pedro ports. These freight trains save our environment from tens of thousands of daily truck trips.

The tracks on the west bank are used by 52 daily Metrolink and Amtrak passenger trains and by a few local freight trains. This passenger corridor is a link in the second-busiest Amtrak intercity corridor in the country, between San Diego and San Luis Obispo.

We've no objection to beautifying the L.A. River, but let's not start the discussion by suggesting that essential passenger and freight rail corridors are "little used" and trivial to the discussion.


Chief Executive Officer

Southern California

Regional Rail Authority

Los Angeles

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