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LACTC AGREES TO PURCHASE OF SOUTHERN PACIFIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY

 LACTC AGREES TO PURCHASE OF SOUTHERN PACIFIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY
 LOS ANGELES, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Los Angeles County Transportation Commission today announced that an agreement has been reached with the Southern Pacific Railroad Company to purchase rights-of-way from downtown Los Angeles to Palmdale, and other properties located in Canoga Park, Burbank and Chatsworth for future commuter rail projects.
 The 67-mile Saugus Line, which extends from downtown Los Angeles to Palmdale, will provide for a future extension of Metrolink, the commuter rail service scheduled to begin operation Oct. 26. The acquisition of the Saugus Line will also provide for Metrolink service to Lancaster at a later date.
 "The acquisition of these rights-of-way are necessary in order to provide future transportation service to the communities of Palmdale and Lancaster," said LACTC Chairman and L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich. "The purchase also provides for additional access into downtown's Union Station via Southern Pacific's bridge over the Los Angeles River and paves the way for future service to Ventura County."
 The acquisition of Southern Pacific properties also include:
 -- The Canoga Park and Burbank segments of the Burbank Branch which will provide the full right-of-way for the proposed Burbank/Glendale light rail line, while assuring minimal railroad interference during construction;
 -- Two non-operating parcels in Chatsworth for future park-and- ride lots and adjacent uses for the Metrolink station in Chatsworth; and
 -- Additional properties and rights including radio frequencies for operation.
 The agreement reached with the Southern Pacific also lays the groundwork for Ventura County to purchase the Santa Paula Branch, a 28-mile line located entirely within Ventura County. Its acquisition would allow for future connections of the cities of Ventura and Santa Clarita by rail.
 "The agreement reached with the Southern Pacific is another step toward creating one of the most effective and expansive commuter rail systems in the nation," said LACTC Executive Director Neil Peterson. "In addition to Metrolink service, it also provides for future light rail service to the Burbank/Glendale communities. This acquisition and those recently concluded with the Santa Fe and Union Pacific Railroads are important pieces of the overall Metro transportation system we envision for Los Angeles County. Purchases such as these make it possible to provide the expanded transportation services taxpayers are demanding through their support at the polls."
 The total purchase price agreed upon by the commission for the properties, excluding Ventura County's option of the Santa Paula Branch, shall be no more than $67.8 million.
 -0- 9/24/92
 /CONTACT: Michael Bustamante, 213-244-6591, or Stephanie Brady, 213 -244-6792, both of the LACTC Transportation News Bureau/ CO: Los Angeles County Transportation Commission; Southern Pacific
 Railroad Co. ST: California IN: TRN SU: TNM


KJ -- LA022 -- 3312 09/24/92 17:09 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 24, 1992
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