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First Train to use the New East Platform at Santa Ana

Plus the history of the construction of platform and pedestrian bridge

by Chris Guenzler

Over the last year construction was done at Santa Ana to build a pedestrian bridge and new east platform. This would end passengers standing on the middle platform when southbound trains come into the station. This story will take you through the construction phase all the way to the first train to use the new platform.

Surfliner 763 arrived into Santa Ana before any construction had been started. 9/24/2005

The construction of the new northbound platform is under way. 10/16/2005

This view shows where the west tower of the future pedestrian bridge will connect with the existing building. 10/16/2005

The future east elevator. 11/02/2005

The east platform being worked on. 11/24/2005

The future west elevator area. 11/24/2005

Another view showing the spot where we will exit the building if you choose to use the future pedestrian bridge. 11/24/2005

Construction has moved along well with the east platform being made.12/16/2005

The structure for the east tower is up and coming along. 12/16/2005

The new east platform is coming along well. 2/4/2006

The east tower is slowly progressing. 2/4/2006

The new west tower has been put up. 2/4/2006

A view of both towers. 2/4/2006

A picture of the bridge towers with the east tower now with stair rails on it. 2/4/2006

Surfliner 763 stopping at Santa Ana during the construction phase. 2/20/2006

On Saturday February 25th, 2006, I drove down and parked in our parking structure after seeing the new bridge as I drove down to the station. I went up to the top level for my first picture of this bridge.

The first train under the new Pedestrian Bridge was Surfliner 763. Once the train left it was now time for a few pictures. 2/25/2006

A station side view of the new bridge. 2/25/2006

The view from the north balcony. 2/25/2006

Train 571 arriving into Santa Ana where I detrained. 2/25/2006

One last shot as Surfliner 571 headed north towards Los Angeles. 2/25/2006

Those new shelters will keep the sun off of you while you are waiting for a train but when it rains and the wind blows they will be useless. There is also no protection from the afternoon sun. 4/08/2006

The new bridge and east platforms at the south end of the Santa Ana Station. 4/8/2006

Surfliner 583 came in to take me to Los Angeles. 4/13/2006

The new northeast end Wheel Chair Ramp. 4/29/2006

The future northwest end where the new Wheel Chair Ramp will be. 4/09/2006

The new waiting shelters. 4/29/2006

Construction of the new southwest Wheel Chair Ramp. 4/29/2006

The Bridge with scaffolding below it. 4/29/2006

This view from the top level of the parking structure of the bridge and platform construction at Santa Ana before I went to Fullerton Railroad Days 2006 on 5/4/2006.

The new northwest wheelchair ramp is almost ready to be poured. 5/20/2006

The bridge is covered as they work on it during the weekdays. 5/20/2006

The west tower has its elevator control room being added. 5/20/2006

Deadheading Surfliner 763 sped south through Santa Ana on the way to Irvine. 5/20/2006

On the way to the parking structure roof a view of the future hall from the building to the bridge. 5/20/2006

The overview of the area. 5/20/2006

Surfliner 763 came into Santa Ana to take me to Santa Barbara. 5/20/2006

Metrolink 852 arrived into Santa Ana on 6/23/2006

View of the construction progress on our new east platform. 6/23/2006

View of the west tower showing the progress there. 6/23/2006

The new northbound canopies at Santa Ana had all been tiled. 7/11/2006

The bridge towers are still being worked on. 7/11/2006

The bridge towers were still being worked on as Metrolink 686 for Irvine came in that was to be followed by Surfliner 583. They told us to wait on the middle platform. 7/11/2006

Surfliner 582 came in first so it was weird standing in the middle. All it would take for an accident is for someone to trip or get pushed down onto the tracks as the train pulled in. 7/11/2006

Metrolink 851 leaves Santa Ana as they are finishing up the bridge. It still needs to be painted and the roof tiles added. 8/16/2006

The tarp was removed and now you get a look at what the West Tower will look like. 8/16/2006

The East Tower is coming along nicely. 8/16/2006

Work is taking place replacing the former walkway with a true station platform. The middle platform will be removed once our east platform is done. 8/16/2006

The shelter columns are being tiled and like everything else will match the station. 8/16/2006

The blue tarp covering the bridge has been removed and you get to see how it looks. A Metrolink train is seen leaving Santa Ana for Los Angeles. The tarp was removed on 8/16/2006. Photo taken 8/29/2006

The new steps to the west platform with the handicap ramp to the right. 8/29/2006

The east side tower and bridge. 8/29/2006

The east side canopies roofs have been tiled and final tile work is not completed. 8/29/2006

First time over the new bridge and the first train to ever use the east platform 9/28/2006

I woke up early as September 28, 2006 because the new pedestrian bridge and new east platform would be put into service this morning. At 4:20 AM I drove down to the Santa Ana Train Station and parked. I went to get my Metrolink ticket for the trip to Los Angeles and found the machine by the parking lot was gone. Looking over to the new platform I saw it was now over there. I walked over to use the bridge but found pink construction tape blocking my path. I ducked under and started up the stairs for the first time. At the second level I stopped for my first picture of this early morning.

The hallway that will take one from the parking structure and courtyard stairs to the bridge.

To reach the bridge over the tracks you can either use these stairs or the elevator

The view inside the bridge before you walk through it.

Once across the early morning view looking north.

Looking back from where we came from this morning.

Down the stairs I went but the north stairs on the east side were not done but there were south stairs.

I have reached the new east platform for the first time.

The canopies were finished being tiled but no benches to sit on had been brought in.

Metrolink 681 came in right on time at 4:34 AM and was the first train ever to use the new eastern platform at Santa Ana.

Passengers boarded Metrolink 681 to Los Angeles. I boarded this train myself and was soon off for Los Angeles. I tried to nap while the train traveled to Orange, Anaheim and Fullerton but there noisy passengers boarded the train. The train stopped in Norwalk then made the final sprint to Los Angeles Union Passenger Station arriving there early. I detrained and was soon off on an early morning walk. I went out the east side of the station, down Cesar Chavez Blvd under the station tracks to Alameda then back into the LAUPT. I stopped at Union Bagel for an expensive orange juice before I went to Track 12 to wait for my train back to Santa Ana.

Surfliner 562 The Sunrise Express 9/28/2006

Two train sets came into LAUPT and the trains were then separated having the northern one become Surfliner 562. I boarded the rear Superliner coach and settled in for the trip home to Santa Ana. We had engines on both ends of our train. The train left LAUPT five minutes late as it came up late from the yard. Once on the move, I went to the cafe to visit with Peter Televick, the LSA working this train, for a cup of herbal tea. I than returned to my seat to enjoy the morning but would take a few more pictures.

A few minutes later, our train took the curve at Buena Park and the tower for the future pedestrian bridge at the future Buena Park Metrolink Station.

The train then took the curve at Basta before stopping at Fullerton. Running back on time, we sat at Anaheim before going to Orange to wait eight minutes for a Metrolink trains. Once on the move again, the train quickly returned me to Santa Ana where I got in my car and headed to work at McFadden Intermediate. It had been an interesting morning being one of the few to ride the first train out of Santa Ana using the new bridge and east platform.

Finishing up the construction.

The next phase was moving Track 2 over four inches like they did Track 1 before they started the project. Here is the tamper working near the new bridge. 10/8/2006

The truck on the track carries the supplies and equipment the workers need. Here they are welding the rails back together. 10/8/2006

The view looking south down the new east platform. 10/8/2006

Close up of the tamper. 10/8/2006

The tamper putting down the spikes and rail fasteners. 10/8/2006

It works at a walking pace and is most efficient. 10/8/2006

Then the ballast spreader follows the tamper to fill in the ballast evenly. 10/8/2006

A dump truck then dumps more ballast as it is needed. 10/8/2006

Surfliner 577 left Santa Ana just as Surfliner 578 arrived. 10/22/2006

The north stairs were now completed. 10/22/2006

Benches had been added to the new platforms. 10/22/2006

Metrolink Ticket Machine and ticket validator installed. 10/22/2006

Where the future fence posts will be located. 10/22/2006

The location where the southern gate will be across the tracks. 11/05/2006

The frame of the fence. 11/05/2006

Surfliner standing in the station. 11/06/2006

What the station looked like as all this was being done. 11/06/2006

Where the north gate will be. 11/06/2006

The lower fence is so that Metrolink engineers can see the crossing at Santa Ana Blvd clearly. 11/06/2006

The new motor for opening the north gate. 12/16/2006

The north gate in the closed position. 12/16/2006

The finished canopy on the eastside platform. 12/16/2006

The motor for the south gate. 12/16/2006

The south gate was open so we get to see it in this unique position. 12/16/2006

An eastside view of the finished station. 12/16/2006

A westside view of the finished station. 12/16/2006

Surfliner 577 and 578 met in Santa Ana on December 16, 2006. This is the last picture of this story. I hope you all have enjoyed this history of the construction of the new platform and bridge in Santa Ana.