A $1 Billion Train That Runs from L.A. to Palm Springs May Happen Someday, Or Not

If completed the train would link the two regions with 144 miles of rail lines.

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A nearly 150-mile rail line linking two major regions of Southern California is on its way to becoming a reality, even if it is still many years off. Southern California outlet The Press-Enterprise reports that the rail project is currently being considered to help link residents and attractions across the region, and to help alleviate traffic.

Currently, the main thoroughfare for residents in the desert wanting to come west and vice versa is Interstate 10. The transcontinental freeway wraps up its route in Southern California, going from the California state line and on into Los Angeles where it eventually ends in Santa Monica at CA-1, otherwise known as Pacific Coast Highway. And it can be a pain when it’s jammed with traffic. This route would offer millions of drivers an alternative. The goal, officials say, is to make train rides that are competitive with cars.


The planned route would run 144 miles from LA Union Station and through various stations in LA, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties before ending in the Coachella Valley. But a lot must be done before any sort of construction starts. The main red tape is the environmental impact studies that have to be completed. One study that is should start soon is expected to cost $60 million, $20 million of which will come from a federal grant local officials have to apply for. But officials think all the costs are worth it, especially considering that the service is expected to run on its own dedicated rail line. This means no service interrupted by local freight line systems.

None of this will come overnight, of course, with officials saying it’ll be 10 years before service starts. The final price tag for the rail line is expected to be up to $1.5 billion.