INDIO (CBSLA) – Patrons of the desert’s biggest music festivals – Coachella and Stagecoach – could be making the trip from Los Angeles to Indio by Amtrak train as soon as next year, transportation officials announced Friday.
“In a move that should be music to the ears of Coachella and Stagecoach festival attendees next year, the California State Transportation Agency awarded $5.9 million to the Riverside County Transportation Commission to construct a temporary train station platform in Indio, paving the way for special event trains as early as next year,” RCTC Deputy Executive Director John Standiford said.
He said two daily round-trips between Los Angeles and Indio are under consideration.
The project would include a 900-foot station platform, trackwork, drainage and pedestrian access, Standiford said, with hopes of developing a long-term San Gorgonio-Coachella Valley Rail Corridor Service.
Funds for the project were raised through the statewide gas tax, with an additional $2.7 million contributed by RCTC to complete the $8.6 million project.
Palm Springs is the only desert city that has an Amtrak station.
Under the project, festival-goers can board an Amtrak train at Los Angeles Union Station and travel to the Indio Transit Center, then catch a shuttle to the festival grounds.
Dana Reed, vice chair of the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor, credited former Cathedral City Mayor Greg Pettis for bring the project to fruition.
“Today’s historic funding announcement would not have happened without the relentless advocacy of Greg Pettis,” Reed said. “For decades, Greg walked the halls of Sacramento, Washington, D.C., and every corner of the Coachella Valley to rally support for bringing rail service to our communities.
He got us to this junction and we will continue full steam ahead for him and for the people of the Coachella Valley.”
Pettis was the longest-serving council member in the city’s history, as well first openly gay public servant. He died Jan. 15 at age 63 from complications related to a 2018 bypass surgery. Construction on the project could begin later this year.
Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande are headlining Coachella 2019.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)