|Orange County Line|
Metrolink locomotive 860 at Irvine
|Locale||Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties|
|Termini||Los Angeles Union Station|
|Daily ridership||8,255 (2012)|
|Owner||BNSF Railway (Los Angeles–Fullerton)|
SCRRA (Fullerton–San Clemente Pier)
NCTD (San Clemente Pier–Oceanside)
|Character||Elevated and surface-level|
|Line length||87.2 miles (140.3 km)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Operating speed||90 mph (140 km/h) (top)|
41 mph (66 km/h) (average)
The Orange County Line is a commuter rail line run by Metrolink from Los Angeles through Orange County to Oceanside in San Diego County, connecting with the Coaster commuter rail service to San Diego. The Orange County Line carries passengers to the primary Metrolink hub at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, as well as to many attractions in Orange County including Angel Stadium of Anaheim and the Honda Center, the Disneyland Resort, Old Town Orange, and Mission San Juan Capistrano.
The Orange County Line began on April 30, 1990 as the Orange County Commuter, an Amtrak-operated service between Los Angeles and San Juan Capistrano. The Orange County Commuter made a single weekday round-trip, departing San Juan Capistrano in the morning and returning in the evening. Amtrak conveyed the route to Metrolink on March 28, 1994, becoming the "Orange County Line" and Metrolink's fifth route. Service is provided seven days a week, with 29 trains on weekdays, and 8 on weekends. The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner supplements Orange County Line service by providing limited stop service along the corridor and more service during mid-days, nights and weekends.
While the Orange County Line shares trackage with Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner trains, its northernmost stations (from Los Angeles to Fullerton, excluding Commerce) are shared with the 91 Line and nearly all of its other stations with the IEOC line (from Orange to Oceanside).
The Orange County Line runs on the BNSF Railway's Southern Transcon track between Los Angeles and Fullerton, under a shared-right-of-way agreement. Several stations, most notably the ones in downtown Fullerton and Santa Ana, are renovated Spanish Colonial Revival depots originally built by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.
In October 2005, the Orange County Transportation Authority announced that it would increase service on the Orange County Line, running trains twenty hours daily, seven days a week every 30 minutes. The first part of the additional service was implemented in June 2006 with Saturday service, and July 2006 with Sunday service. The plan has drawn criticism as many Metrolink stations are located beyond walking distance from important destinations such as Disneyland and the adjacent Anaheim Convention Center, Knott's Berry Farm, and the Irvine Spectrum. Funds for new rolling stock and track improvements were allocated from the voter-approved Measure M half-cent sales tax, while critics[who?] had advocated using the money for bus operations or other transit service instead. To address some of these issues, OCTA operates a series of Stationlink shuttle routes that connect Metrolink stations in Orange County to nearby destinations.
Under Amtrak operation the Orange County Commuter stopped at the following stations: Los Angeles, Commerce, Fullerton, Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana, Irvine, and San Juan Capistrano. With the Metrolink takeover in 1994 the southern terminus moved to Oceanside and five infill stations were planned: Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs, Buena Park, Tustin, and Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo, and San Clemente. San Clemente and Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs opened in 1995, Tustin and Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo in 2002, and Buena Park in 2007.
|San Diego County|
|Oceanside||Oceanside||235 S. Tremont St, Oceanside 92054|
|San Clemente Pier (weekends only)||San Clemente||615 Avenida Victoria, San Clemente 92673|
|San Clemente||1850 Avenida Estacion, San Clemente 92673|
|San Juan Capistrano||San Juan Capistrano||26701 Verdugo St, San Juan Capistrano 92675|
|Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo||Laguna Niguel||28200 Fobres Rd, Laguna Niguel 92677|
|Irvine||Irvine||15215 Barranca Pkwy, Irvine 92618|
|Tustin||Tustin||2975 Edinger Ave, Tustin 92780|
|Santa Ana||Santa Ana||1000 E. Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana 92701|
|Orange||Orange||194 North Atchison St, Orange 92866|
|Anaheim||Anaheim||2626 E. Katella Ave, Anaheim 92806||Amtrak: Pacific Surfliner|
|Fullerton||Fullerton||120 E. Santa Fe Ave, Fullerton 92832|
|Buena Park||Buena Park||8400 Lakeknoll Dr, Buena Park 90621|
|Los Angeles County|
|Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs||Norwalk||12650 Imperial Hwy, Norwalk 90650|
|Commerce (limited service)||Commerce||6433 E. 26th Street, Commerce 90040|
|LA Union Station||Downtown Los Angeles||800 N. Alameda St, Los Angeles 90012|
The October 2017 timetable shows ten weekday trains from Los Angeles to Oceanside and back, eight from Fullerton to Laguna Niguel and back, seven from Los Angeles to Laguna Niguel and back, four from Fullerton to Oceanside, and two from Los Angeles to Irvine and back.
Passengers that have monthly passes can use Pacific Surfliner trains between their station pairs on any day except for specific blacked out days by Amtrak for holidays and special events (such as events at Del Mar) on this line.
California High-Speed Rail
The route of the Orange County Line will be used for the planned California High-Speed Rail line from Los Angeles Union Station to Anaheim. It may also stop in Norwalk or Fullerton. When completed, the right-of-way will consist of the existing tracks with two additional tracks for HSR trains.
- 2016 RTP/SCS Passenger Rail Appendix (PDF). Southern California Association of Governments. December 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
- "Metrolink Fact Sheet for June 2012" (PDF). Metrolink. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- "Metrolink Timetable" (PDF). June 6, 2016. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
- "COUNTYWIDE : Ridership Healthy on Commuter Train". Los Angeles Times. May 5, 1990.
- Amtrak (October 28, 1990). "National Train Timetables". Retrieved 2010-05-16.
- NARP (March 25, 1994). "NARP March 1994 Hotlines". Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved 2010-05-16.
- TRAINS Magazine - Railroad News, Web Cam, Railroading Video - Metrolink
- Catz, Sarah L. (February 14, 1994). "Plans for Flexible Transportation Alternatives Are Moving Right Along". The Los Angeles Times. p. 91. Retrieved July 5, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Ni, Ching-Ching (March 6, 1995). "San Clemente Goes on Fast Track With Its New Metrolink Station". Los Angeles Times. p. 77. Retrieved July 5, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Metrolink Station Opens". The Los Angeles Times. July 18, 1995. p. 23. Retrieved July 5, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- McKibben, Dave (April 17, 2002). "Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo Metrolink Depot Set to Debut". Los Angeles Times. p. 11. Retrieved July 5, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Morin, Monte (January 18, 2002). "New Metrolink Station to Debut Today in Tustin". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
- Reyes, David (September 5, 2007). "Metrolink's Buena Park station opens for business". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 5, 2019.