It's always best to take California railroad news with a grain of salt. We're not naming any bullet trains in particular, but these things tend to fall apart in the planning stages. Still, a new train line is being planned that will link Los Angeles to the Coachella Valley. When completed, riders will be able to ride the rails from LA all the way out to Indio (a big help for Coachella season). It's still in the early stages of planning, but according to the Desert Sun, the Riverside County Transportation Center has taken one major step forward in the project by selecting a planned route for the train.
It's not exactly a bullet train though. Think more of a leisurely scenic trip through Riverside County (yikes). The train trip from LA to Indio will last a little over three hours. That's about 40 minutes slower than if traveling by car, so definitely load some podcasts onto your phone for this trip.
The planned route would leave Los Angeles, stopping at Fullerton, head north to Colton, then through the San Gorgonio Pass on its way to Indio. The exact location of train stations along the route have not been finalized, but Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage have all been suggested as possible options. An environmental impact report will have to be completed before a decision on station locations can be finalized. Caltrans estimates that 189,000 riders would travel the line annually, bringing in $3.2 million in revenue.
Plans for a train line running from Los Angeles to Indio have been in the works for some time now. In 2013, the Sunline Transit agency set aside ten percent of its budget for a new rail project, and this April, Caltrans received a $2.98 million federal grant for the train line. The total cost of the project was estimated by Caltrans to come in at about $155 million.
If there is one thing we know about train lines, though, it's that they have a tendency to experience delays aplenty. Federal guidelines allow about six more years for the development process to wrap up, and any number of lawsuits or environmental issues could pop up in that timeframe. There is no official timeline for completion, but officials have estimated the train line should be up and running in five to ten years. (We'll see.)
· Route chosen for train from Indio to Los Angeles [Desert Sun]