The highly anticipated Redlands Passenger Rail Project, which will bring state-of-the-art clean-air rail technology to one of the world’s busiest transportation corridors, took a major step forward this week with approval to award the construction contract to Flatiron West Inc.
The $154 million contract clears the way for construction to begin on the regional transportation project that is bringing the future Arrow service – a nine-mile rail connection between the University of Redlands and the San Bernardino Transit Center. Arrow will connect the east valley of San Bernardino County to a multi-modal transit hub that can provide access to all points west.
Initial plans call for the use of low-emission diesel multiple-unit (DMU) trains that can eventually convert to alternative energy, zero-emission multiple unit (ZEMUs) vehicles. Eventually, too, the new trains will offer a cleaner, quieter, and cheaper alternative to operate that can run interoperable on Metrolink’s existing rail line all the way to Los Angeles’ Union Station.
“We believe the Redlands Passenger Rail Project is the most exciting transit project in California, if not beyond,” said SBCTA President Darcy McNaboe. “The ZEMUs will be the first of their kind in North America, and will have the potential to transform how we design rail systems and address air quality concerns.”
Construction is expected to begin in July 2019. Flatiron, based in Colorado, has built rail lines across the world including recent work in San Diego along the North Coast Corridor and San Diego Blue Line, as well as the Oakland Airport Connector and Los Angeles Exposition Metro Line.
“We’re thrilled to move the Redlands Passenger Rail Project one step closer to reality,” said Carrie Schindler, SBCTA Director of Transit and Rail. “When finished, it not only will provide a critical link from Redlands to the San Bernardino Line, but will represent an important clean-air transit solution in one of the most challenged air-quality basins in the country.”