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Metrolink Saturday/Sunday Service

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Metrolink Weekends

Monthly Free Train Rides

I add reports on the Metrolink Weekends Monthly Free Train Rides as they take place, with the most recent reports first.

 All photos and story by:  Carl@TrainWeb.com

Table of Contents:

•  Next:  Sunday, November 19, Santa Ana Station

Click the line above for the November Free Ride Schedule for Santa Ana Depot.  Below is the Press Release.

•  New Metrolink Train Activity Announced

    Click the above line to learn about the Toy Express arriving at a station near you!

•  October, Anaheim Station

•  September, Fullerton Station




OCTA Offers Free Rides on Metrolink

        Riders get a free ticket on Sunday, Nov. 19 from Santa Ana Depot

SANTA ANA – On Sunday, Nov. 19, OCTA will offer free Metrolink train rides to all passengers boarding at the Santa Ana Depot train station.  In order to qualify for a free roundtrip, riders must depart from and return to the Santa Ana station.

 
OCTA recently launched Metrolink services on weekends with three roundtrips between Oceanside and Los Angeles and an additional two roundtrips between San Bernardino and Oceanside. OCTA officials hope the free “test ride” will allow the public to see just how fast, easy and relaxing taking the train can be.

“We’re excited that the public can take advantage of Orange County’s expanded commuter-rail system,” OCTA Chairman Art Brown said. “Weekend service is the first in a series of improvements to Metrolink planned during the next several years thanks to our Measure M sales-tax funds.”

Metrolink’s diverse range of destinations offers something for everyone, and riders never have to worry about finding a parking space.  Catch a movie at the Irvine Spectrum, go antiquing in Old Towne Orange, explore historic San Juan Capistrano or enjoy a day at the beach in San Clemente.

For more information on Metrolink weekends, including detailed train schedules please call 800-371-LINK or visit www.metrolinkweekends.com.

# # #



The October station was Anaheim.

For the Press Release of the Oct. 29, 2006, Anaheim Free Train Ride,

Click Here

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The Anaheim train station is on the north/back side of the Angels Stadium parking lot, the Katella Street side.


--October 29, 2006, Anaheim, California, Metrolink Station 

The location changes, but the schedule stays the same. 
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA)  holds "Free Train Rides" on the Orange County Line from specific stations along their route between Los Angeles Station and Oceanside once each month, to promote their new "Metrolink Weekends" schedule, and today it was the Anaheim Station.  If you cannot make it to one of their free rides, travel on any weekend Metrolink train is 1/2 price.  The automated machines are all set up, so if you buy a ticket, say from Orange to San Juan Capistrano, round-trip, the cost is $6.50, 1/2 the regular rate.  So, take the family on a weened adventure, as I saw many families doing on the Metrolink train today from Anaheim Station to either Los Angeles Union Station, or San Juan Capistrano Station. 

The next free train ride will be November 17, 2006 from the Santa Ana Station.  It will be the same schedule where you can leave Santa Ana at 9:45 a.m. or 3:15 p.m. northbound to Los Angeles and return, or southbound for  San Juan Capistrano at 2:17 pm and return.

Be sure to arrive at the station early to get your free ticket from the blue EZ-up at the station and other useful items such as the "Metrolink Weekends Fun guide:

At Anaheim Station
 
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From left to right: Nora Yeretzian, Maureen Figueredo, Mike Palencia and Judy Hernandez


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Available as a poster or puzzle.
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Elmo (sometimes known as Jackson)
from Anaheim, took the first Metrolink to LAUS.
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We proceeded under the tracks to the northbound side and I went to the far end of the platform to observe the ADA accommodations and procedures.

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Marcelo Sandoval's crew (above) kept everyone behind the yellow line as our Metrolink arrived.  There was a recorded message on the P.A. system that said, "Please do not place pennies or rocks on the track."  The ADAs were quickly boarded by the conductor, E. Ramos, who is positioned in the front/cab car with a short ramp over which the chairs could safely move (below).
 
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We soon zipped northward, through my home station, Fullerton, and on to Los Angeles.
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Inside Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS), across from the Amtrak Information booth, I noticed a new kiosk, Railway Media, where you can rent pre-loaded video players for Amtrak trips.  They have an ad on the back of the current Amtrak Timetable. www.RailwayMedia.com

Once you've arrived at Los Angeles Union Station, head to the Old Station (not the Bus/Metro Bldg.).  Walk through the long tunnel under the many tracks and you'll come out into the beautiful, old, Union Station waiting area.  Continue through that to the Information Booth.  There you can ask about buses that go through the Ethnic Neighborhoods (Mexican, Japanese, Chinese) as well as Financial District of Los Angles.  Or, like me, be drawn by the music and continue on out into the sunshine and across Alameda Street, westward part of one block to Olivera Street and its many activities.
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The Information booth is manned by volunteers that know every bus route and trolley route and landmark in Los Angeles.
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Lots of movies use the station for some filming, look for the vauilted ceiling, or the ticket booths to the north of the Information booth.

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Once outside, look back at the front of the station.  Thousands of World War II soldiers viewed this facade upon their arrival in California.
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The light posts at the entrance from Alameda St. indicate the architectural style of the construction.
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Olivera St. Fountain, just across Alameda St. from LAUS.

El Pueblo Historical Monument, the oldest part of the City of Los Angeles, contains 27 historical buildings, a traditional Mexican style plaza area, and world-famous Overa Street.
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Fire House No. 1, the city's first fire station, is to the left as you enter the Plaza.  Ann works for the City of L. A. and was the docent this day.

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The horse-drawn fire engine stands in front of the horse stalls.

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In the floor is a round table for turning the fire engine by hand after being pulled into the fire house by the team of horses.

You can get a free map at the fire house, or, the next door immediately west you can have a free tour of the area.

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The music and dancers were enjoyed by large assembled crowd.

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There were numerous memorials set up honoring those who had passed.
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Free Face painting made pretty girls look gruesome.

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King Carlos III (right) who ordered the founding of Los Angeles in 1781, seemed unmoved by all the festivities.  I proceeded through the sales stalls on Olivera St., enjoying the aroma of the leather goods on sale.
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I walked through the one-block Olivera St. shops and came out where Main St. joins Alameda.  I continued walking north to a favorite restaurant for those who travel to or from LAUS.
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The San Antonio Winery is an alternative, but too far to walk in the hour I had left to eat and return for the 1:30 pm train back to Anaheim.
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Soon most of the folks who took the train to LA must have had time to do what they wanted in the area and they returned to the station for their trip back to Anaheim.  With 15 minutes to spare, I took a few pictures of the engine, and the ADA loading arrangements they have in LAUS as the same folks who went north went back south to Anaheim.
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The departing engineer (right), leaving her cab car position, helped situate the loading ramp before going off duty.

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Conductor E. Ramos took his position in the cab car (right) and 'conducted' the train via radio to the engineer, out on the main line where we reversed and proceeded engine-first southbound.  Track work in the station area necessitated this move by most arriving Metrolink trains this day.
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3751 still sits, partially undressed by Santa Ana winds, at the roundhouse.
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It was a tiring day for most.


Back at Anaheim Station, our group of 472 disembarked and a new group about the same size boarded for San Juan Capistrano.
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The San Juan Capistrano portion of the Metrolink Free Ride




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The upper level of the Metrolink cars are new, with a table for 4 in the center of each car in both rows of seats.  Handicapped seating is provided on the lower level.
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After making the San Juan Station, Metrolink continues to Oceanside before reversing to Los Angeles.
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Walking west after the train leaves, takes you into the Los Rios Historic District.  Don't miss it!  Very interesting historic homes many converted into antique and art shops.  It reminds me of Hawaii.


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Even birdhouses in the area have Mission drawings on them.
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From the Los Rios Historic District there are different views of the new Mission church.

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On the west side of the track is also the Petting Zoo.


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In the one block walk to the main drag in San Juan Capistrano, you'll pass a Napa Valley Wine Bar.
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In the one block walk east to the main street in San Juan Capistrano, you'll pass a Napa Valley Wine Bar.
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Turn left and, across from the Mission, is a nice Indian jewelry store with this welcoming sign facing north.


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The historic Mission.
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Different kind of signal light in front of the Mission.

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The train station sign looks almost as old as the mission, but this is the spot where you wait for your returning Metrolink train.
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It can't be that old, however, if this is carved into it!

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The San Juan Capistrano Station has a single track so the foliage at trackside is like a tunnel for the trains.  This makes the platform narrow, however, so be careful here, especially with small children as there are trains that do not stop here and they move through this narrow area quite quickly.  The platform here is very low and, as you can see to the left of the above picture, if the car stops at the street, it is impossible for anyone slightly limited in mobility to board.  Therefore, move to the north of the street crossing to board a car at the raised part of the platform.

I had an excellent lunch at the El Adobe Restaurant, before returning to my home Metrolink Station.

I'll post the Press Release for the next Free Metrolink Ride at the top of this page in November.


The next event is Sunday, November 19 at The Depot at Santa Ana.


[ Back to the Table of Contents ]



It's not every day you get a Free Train Ride!

By Carl Morrison, Carl@TrainWeb.com

September 17, 2006

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA)  holds "Free Train Rides" from specific stations along their route between Los Angeles Station and Oceanside once each month, to promote their new "Metrolink Weekends" schedule.

I noticed some signs at the Fullerton Station Sunday, September 17, 2006, that had arrows showing where to board Metrolink Trains.  I followed the signs and found a canopy with friendly folks offering a Free Train Ticket.  Upon inquiry, I found there were no strings attached, you just had to use the ticket this same day.

Since I was there just after 11 a.m., I had the choice to go south to San Juan Capistrano, and return to Fullerton, or to go north to Los Angeles Union Station, and return to Fullerton.

Marcelo Sandoval, from the Marketing Dept. at Orange County Transit Authority [OCTA], was in charge of the activities at Fullerton Station, with help from:  Abbe, Ileen, Maureen, Jon, Gail, Audrey, Gloria, and Mike.  Marcelo mentioned that the 3 earlier "Free Train Rides" were a great success.  Laguna Niguel had 500 riders on a Saturday, Orange had 1,200 on a Saturday.  Tustin had 700 on a Sunday.  This day, Sunday, there had already been 200 on the first train.

Tickets are available at the station from approximately one hour before the first train until 7 pm.

At this time of day, prospective riders were informed that they could go south to San Juan Capistrano, leaving Fullerton at 2:00 pm, coming back at 2:49 or 6:10 pm and arriving back in  Fullerton at  3:32 pm or 6:53 pm.  Or, riders could go north to Los Angeles Union Station, leaving Fullerton station at 3:32 pm and returning on the 8:45 pm train arriving back in Fullerton at 9:15 pm.  (Full Schedule link below)



Some of you might have seen the Press Release before September 17.  I'll include the next Press release on this page before the October 29 activity:


Sept. 12, 2006

OCTA Offers Free Rides on Metrolink

                              Riders get a free ticket on Sunday, Sept. 17 from Fullerton Metrolink Station

ORANGE – On Sunday, Sept. 17, OCTA will offer free Metrolink train rides to all passengers boarding at the Fullerton Metrolink station.  In order to qualify for a free roundtrip, riders must depart from and return to the Fullerton station.  Passengers can travel free of charge to any of the destinations on the Orange County Line between downtown Los Angeles and Oceanside.

Northbound trains to Los Angeles will depart Fullerton at 10:02 a.m., 3:32 p.m. and  6:53 p.m.  Southbound trains will depart at 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.

OCTA recently launched weekend Metrolink service on the Orange County Line with three roundtrips serving Fullerton each Saturday and Sunday.  OCTA officials hope the free “test ride” will allow the public to see just how fast, easy and relaxing taking the train can be. 

“We’re excited that the public can take advantage of Orange County’s expanded commuter-rail system,” OCTA Chairman Art Brown said. “Weekend service is the first in a series of improvements to Metrolink planned during the next several years.”

Metrolink’s diverse range of destinations offers something for everyone, and riders never have to worry about finding a parking space.  Catch a movie at the Irvine Spectrum Center, go antiquing in Old Towne Orange, explore historic San Juan Capistrano or enjoy a day at Olvera Street in Los Angeles.

For more information on Metrolink weekends, including detailed train schedules please call 800-371-LINK or visit www.metrolinkweekends.com.

# # #





Next Free Train Ride, Anaheim, CA,  Station, October 29, 2006.


Photos of Metrolink at the Fullerton, CA, Station, September 17, 2006.

(Double-Click any photo below for a double-sized copy.  Click BACK in your browser to return to this page.)


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Fullerton Station, Track 1, OCTA 'free train ticket' tent, the Amtrak Office, and the Santa Fe Cafe on a beautiful Sept. Day.
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Track 2 and passengers awaiting the southbound Metrolink.
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"Please stay behind the yellow line and wait for the train to come to a stop before boarding."  Unfortunately, there were instances of kids ON THE TRACKS, before the train arrived.  Luckily, at least 4 uniformed Metrolink employees were walking  the platform warning against such activity, as above.





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Adjacent to Track 2 (south of the station) there are new condos and lofts with businesses below being built.

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Ten minutes late, the 2 pm southbound Metrolink arrived, to the joy of the many passengers with free tickets in hand.
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Detraining passengers had to squeeze by the many loading passengers.

When I got home, I found this nice map online at:  http://www.metrolinktrains.com/

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Metrolink's Official Site (metrolinktrains. com) has all the details
, and links, on the Weekend Service:
_______________________________

NEW WEEKEND SERVICE

ORANGE COUNTY AND INLAND EMPIRE-ORANGE COUNTY LINES

Orange County Saturday/Sunday Service

Metrolink trains now operate on the Orange County Line on weekends. Three round trips are offered every Saturday and Sunday on the Orange County Line -- two between Los Angeles and Oceanside, and one between Los Angeles and San Juan Capistrano. Click here for schedule.

For a limited time, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is offering special discounted fares for weekend travel on the Orange County Line. See below for additional information.

Click here for additional information.




Saturday and Sunday Schedule:  (Click Here)



Next Free Train Ride, Anaheim, CA,  Station, October 29, 2006.

Check out the schedule and decide at what time you want to start your free round trip from Anaheim Station, October 29, 2006.  And, there will be other Free Train Rides at other stops between L.A. and Oceanside on Metrolink.  You will see a reference at their homepage to Measure M.  Guess this is 'your taxes at work!'

Check back at TrainWeb to see where the following Free Train Rides Saturdays or Sundays will be.  Buena Park's new station will even be featured in a few months!

Carl@TrainWeb.com

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