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Train in vain? Route between LA and Coachella again up for discussion

In this 25 October, 2002. file photo, an Amtrak train sits idle at Penn Station in New York.
STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images
FILE: An Amtrak train sits idle at Penn Station in New York. Riverside County officials are reviving an idea to create train service between Coachella Valley and downtown Los Angeles.

The Desert Trip concert series may have left good memories for music lovers, but the same can't be said for the traffic-filled drive there and back.

Those who’d rather ride the train someday can share their views at a public meeting Monday night to discuss a rail connection between Los Angeles and Coachella Valley. 

The idea of a train line between Indio and Union Station has been kicked around since the 1990s.

Now Riverside County officials have received a federal grant to move forward with the proposal.

They are taking public comments on the proposal through Nov. 10 and hope to complete an initial study for the project by the end of 2018.

Meetings have already been held in Riverside and Indio. Monday night's meeting runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Headquarters Plaza Level, One Gateway Plaza.

The train line would be built on an existing rail tracks and would have limited stops in the Coachella Valley and Riverside before making its way to L.A.

Amtrak would operate the service, likely two trains a day, but a funding source is still not in place.

A previous study projected it would take just over three hours for a one-way trip along the 141-mile route.

If you can't make tonight's meeting, you can also send written comments to the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC), P.O. Box 12008, Riverside, California, 92502. You can also send comments by email to Robert Yates, Multimodal Services Director, at CoachellaValleyRail@ArellanoAssociates.com.