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First Revenue Metrolink Trains to use Track 4 at Fullerton 5/29/2011

by Chris Guenzler

With signals and switches being cut in by BNSF at Santa Fe Springs, Amtrak and Metrolink would both be running only to Fullerton on Sunday May 29, 2011. Amtrak would be running only a few trainsets with buses to Los Angeles to close the gap. Metrolink, on the other hand, would provide no other means to get to Los Angeles. Would that mean Metrolink would use the new Track 4 platform at Fullerton, which would make sense?

There was only one way to find out and that was to make a round trip from Santa Ana to Fullerton on Metrolink Trains 661 and 662. I drove down to Santa Ana and parked in the northeast lot where there were plenty of parking spots for once. I went through the station to the Metrolink ticketing machine and bought my roundtrip ticket to Fullerton then crossed the pedestrian bridge to Track 1, where I found people trying to buy tickets to Los Angeles. Even though ticketing machine had a notice about no service to Los Angeles today, it appeared that the general public cannot read a notice.

I explained to seven people that they would need to take Amtrak to Los Angeles. My question is why did Metrolink not have their station ambassadors at the stations along the Orange County Line to help people so they would not make the mistake of buying a ticket on Metrolink to Los Angeles? I then walked down to the handicap ramp to wait for my train to Fullerton.

Metrolink 661 arrived, I took a seat in the cab car and we were soon off, stopping in Orange and Anaheim. After Anaheim, we ran on Track 1 to CP La Palma, where we crossed over to Track 2. This move made me think we were going into Track 4 at Fullerton.

At CP Orangethorpe, we headed onto Track 4 and I was on new trackage.

Here you can see the new BNSF signal bridge.

Fullerton Jct, where the Orange County Line leaves the BNSF San Bernardino Subdivision.

The train coming into Fullerton on Track 4.

After we crossed the Lemon Street bridge, we reached the new Track 4 platform.

The train slowed to a stop and I was the first revenue passenger to step on the Track 4 platform.

The train sitting at the end of Track 4.

Two views of the locomotive end of the train on Track 4.

Our train and Pacific Surfliner 768 taking on its bus passengers from Los Angeles at Fullerton.

Pacific Surfliner 768, which departed a few minutes later.

Pacific Surfliner 768 starts the trip to San Diego.

Pacific Surfliner 769 arrived at Fullerton. I crossed the pedestrian bridge and visited with Conductor CJ and Engineer Doug Busler, after which I returned to Track 4.

Train 662 was about ready to board and I became the first passenger to board a southbound train from Track 4. We departed on time and after it left Track 4 once and for all, we stopped at Anaheim and Orange before I detrained at Santa Ana, ending an interesting Metrolink trip this morning.