RailPAC promotes weekend Metrolink connections   October 19th, 2007

Correspondence between RailPAC President Paul Dyson and SCRRA. The original message is at the bottom of this file.

Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2007 11:19:59 -0700 (PDT)
From: Paul Dyson
Subject: RE: Weekend Connections
To: Bob Berger, SCRRA Manager, Passenger Services
CC: Art Brown

Bob,

Thank you for your very prompt reply. Having been through British Railways management training program and been an operations manager on a busy commuter division out of London I do understand how railroads work. I agree it is not possible to make “everything connect to everything”. It should however be possible for three trains to connect in an otherwise empty station, and I can’t help but comment that someone dropped the ball in this instance.

If you are thinking of fixing this with a schedule change I’d like to strongly recommend that you consider joining up the AV and OC lines on weekends as run-through trains. I have to believe there is potential for good revenue generating discretionary travel between say Santa Clarita and the eastern San Fernando Valley stations and the Orange County attractions. This potential is greatly enhanced with a run through service compared to a connection. This would also be a good test of run through operation in general. Our group has always felt that there is too much emphasis on travel to and from Los Angeles at the expense of the convenience of the cross town traveller. We think Metrolink will be moresuccessful if you serve both markets, using run-through trains.

We’re trying to lure people from the convenience of their automobiles. This will make better use of the limited funds available. Thank you for your consideration of these issues.

PD

Bob Berger wrote:

Dear Mr. Dyson -

We have previously received your request by way of Board Members Najarian and Micheline back in August of this year to consider the 0840 a.m. arrival (Train 260) connecting with Amtrak Train 566. At that time staff committed to evaluating that request for the next schedule change. At the same time we will also evaluate your comments below. The TVM did not show the connection because it is less than 10″. I’m sure this issue can be resolved on the next schedule change.

While it appears obvious that any two trains should be able to connect with each other, when all the trains operated are considered it is not possible to make “everything connect to everything.” Staff works to make the best connection decisions based on passenger demand, equipment turns, crew turns, and infrastructure constraints. Thank you for being Metrolink’s “eyes and ears” and bringing this issue to our attention so that we may better serve our passengers.

Sincerely,
Bob Berger
Manager Passenger Services

Original Message
From: Paul Dyson [mailto:pauljdyson@yahoo.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2007 6:57 PM
To: Wylie, Steve; Berger, Bob
Cc: Art Brown
Subject: Weekend Connections

Gents:

I took myself to Burbank downtown station Saturday to go to the Buena Park opening. Noting that there is an8.45am departure on the Orange County line and an 8.40am arrival from Antelope Valley I figured either that the rolling stock runs through or that there is a connection.

Imagine my surprise when I tried to buy a ticket andfound that I was advised not to complete the purchase bcause “there is no train for more than three hours” and so my ticket would no longer be valid.

I called customer service from the pay phone and the helpful young man confirmed the train times but that this is not a guaranteed connection.

I’m at a loss to understand how, with only 60 trains running on a Saturday, and with such attractions as Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland as well as the beaches, you cannot make a run through train to Orange County or at least make sure that the AV line trains connect with both the San Bernardino and the OC trains. Please help me to understand this situation.

Paul Dyson
President, Rail Passenger Association of
California
Member, City of Burbank Transportation Commission

This entry was posted on Friday, October 19th, 2007 at 12:55 PM and is filed under Issues.