With the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals continuing to inundate Indio with more music fans each April, county officials have secured funding for a train that would shuttle concertgoers to and from the events as early as next year.
The Coachella Valley Special Event Train would operate through Amtrak with two daily round-trips between Los Angeles Union Station and a temporary platform Indio, with a connecting shuttle to the festival grounds at the Empire Polo Club, the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) said in a news release.
The $8.7 million project will be paid for with a $5.9 million grant from the State Rail Assistance Program, which is funded in part by the gas tax, with RCTC contributing the remaining $2.7 million.
More than 125,000 people descend on the Coachella Valley over the three weekends in April the events take place, RCTC said, famously snarling traffic and creating backups Thursday through Monday.
The 10-car train would operate on Pacific Surfliner equipment, with each trip accommodating up to 750 passengers. Officials anticipate peak service will be around 700 festivalgoers per trip.
A similar train has operated before, in 2008, when festival promoter Goldenvoice cut a one-year deal with Amtrak for the Coachella Express between L.A. and Indio. There was a makeshift dance floor and passengers were treated to live DJ sets, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported.
The proposed location for the temporary platform is at 83100 Indio Blvd., a Union Pacific lot currently used to store trains.
RCTC has yet to nail down a construction schedule, but said it could begin later this year and be completed as early as January 2020.