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Metrolink (Southern California)

From Academic Kids

Template:Railroad Metrolink is a commuter rail system that serves the Southern California region. In 1991, it was established as the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) and construction began shortly thereafter. In 2003, it had an operating budget of $103.3 million. There are many similar services called Metrolink, throughout the world.

While it serves a large area and contains 511.6 miles of track, Metrolink does not have a particularly large ridership. This is primarily due to Southern California's dependence on automobiles and Metrolink's fares, which are high compared to its peers. However, ridership is increasing with commuters looking to escape the area's perpetually clogged freeways. The average weekday ridership for March 2004 was 38,417 persons. As of December 2003, Metrolink had 38 locomotives and 143 commuter cars. All current trains are painted white with blue streaks.

Metrolink's area of service includes lines to Ventura County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Orange County, and San Diego County. It connects to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Metro Rail lines at Union Station.
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Inside-metrolink.JPG
A picture taken inside a Metrolink train car heading towards Orange County, California

Metrolink riders can ride most buses in Los Angeles and Orange County, as well as the Metro Rail, for free with their valid ticket or pass.

On January 26, 2005, two Metrolink passenger trains were derailed as a result of a man parking his sport utility vehicle on a grade crossing, in the worst train accident in Metrolink's history. A Metrolink train collided with the vehicle, derailing the train and causing it to collide with a stationary freight train, and then jackknifed into another oncoming Metrolink train. This impact caused the freight train's locomotive to topple from the tracks. 11 people were killed (including an off-duty sheriff's deputy and a train conductor), and over 100 people were injured, about 40 badly. At the time of this writing, the man is awaiting trial in Los Angeles Superior Court. Juan Manuel Alvarez is charged with 11 counts of first degree murder with special circumstances, including murder by train wrecking.

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