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Southern California’s regional passenger rail service Metrolink has broken ground on the Burbank Junction Speed Improvement Project.

Part of Phase 1 of the agency’s Southern California Optimised Rail Expansion (SCORE) programme, the project is expected to lower journey times by enabling higher speeds and efficient operations.

Via Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Programme (TIRCP), the project is funded by the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).

The improvements are expected to provide passengers with wait times of no more than 30 minutes, stated Metrolink.

Located north of the Burbank-Downtown Station, the project will help in the realignment of a portion of the existing main line track besides reconfiguring and lengthening the track.

It will also involve the enhancement and replacement of around one-half mile of the existing track, as well as the installation of new fencing.  

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Construction work is expected to be concluded in the summer of next year.

Metrolink board chair Ara Najarian said: “By improving track infrastructure, the Burbank Junction Speed Improvement Project is an important step toward greater regional mobility while delivering economic growth through new jobs.

“Metrolink appreciates its partnership with the City of Burbank on this enhancement and looks forward to working with other cities and agencies as our SCORE projects evolve.”

With 547 miles of track, Metrolink has 67 stations across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties.

This year in March, Granite Construction received a $22m contract for the Metrolink station expansion project in Moreno Valley.