Trains to Run 5 A.M. to Midnight

The High Speed Rail Authority will operate trains from 5 a.m. to midnight, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Based on information provided by the Authority, I estimate that trains will pass by every 7 to 10 minutes during commute hours and every 10-15 minutes the rest of the day. If popular, trains will pass by more frequently.

Operating hours and frequencies are given in the Authority’s business plan and forecasts for ridership and revenue. See: 2008 Ridership and Revenue; see also 2009 Report to the Legislature.

The Authority divides each day into peak and off-peak hours. Peak hours are essentially commute times, 6 am to 9 am, and 4 pm to 7 pm. All other times between 5 am and midnight are off-peak.

As far as I can tell, a detailed operating plan and proposed schedule have not been released for the L.A. to San Diego line that would run through Alhambra. In its forecasts for ridership and revenue, the Authority states the frequency of trains for L.A. to San Diego will be similar to its Phase 1 line between San Francisco and Anaheim.

San Francisco and L.A. (each direction):
* Peak hours: trains will leave every 9 minutes in each direction
* Off-peak hours: trains will leave every 11 minutes in each direction

L.A. and Anaheim:
* Peak hours: trains will leave every 15 minutes in each direction
* Off-peak hours: trains will leave every 26 minutes in each direction

All told, Phase 1 between San Francisco to Anaheim will see 57 trains in each direction during the peak hours and 71 trains in each direction during the remaining (off peak) 10 hours of of the day. That works out to 256 trains daily.

The one detail we have is that by 2030, the Authority expects that 46 trains will run in each direction between L.A. and San Diego during peak hours (a six hour window). That averages out to just over 6.5 trains per hour in each direction (13 trains total per hour). While not providing detail, the Authority states that the off-peak hourly frequencies for the L.A. to San Diego line will be reduced similarly to its Phase 1 patterns, meaning it will run about 57 trains during the remaining 10 hours, averaging 5.7 per hour in each direction (about 11.5 trains total per hour).

Most of those trains will pass through Alhambra because L.A. will be the primary destination or departure point. Even if just over half the trains pass through Alhambra, that means trains will pass through every 7 to 10 minutes during peak commute hours and every 10-15 minutes during the rest of the day.

Of course, the trains will run more frequently if more people use it than initially expected.

Bottom Line: The trains will be a constant presence through our community. Because they will run between 5 a.m. and midnight, they will run during times in which many of us sleep in addition to daylight hours when our babies nap.

Number of trains one-way during peak 6 hours

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