The Western Surfliner
The Western Surfliner is a passenger train operated by Citylink on the West Coast of the United States. It runs from Montana City to Springwood, via Sacromenta. The train has operated continuously since Citylink's formation in 1971.
Before the formation of Citylink, no train connected the three big cities directly. In 1906, Arrowhead and Western started operating two passenger trains in the Area. The Western Speeder connected Springwood and Sacromenta, while the Pacific Coastliner connected Sacromenta to Montana. The Cedar Valley Northern railroad also operated a competing service to the Pacific Coastliner, the Cooper Limited, until its discontinuance in 1966.
With the formation of Citylink on May 1, 1971, most of the passenger trains operated by Arrowhead and Western were transferred to the new operator. Citylink combined the two old lines into one line, The Western Surfliner, numbering the lines 11 for southbound and 14 for northbound. Citylink used the Coast Range railway's alignament between Sacromenta and Springwood. whaen it began running the sevice.
In 1981, an additional train, the Western Starliner also started running on the line, doubling it's capacity. The service ran for 18 years, before it was merged into the main Surfliner route.
The train service ran every day in each direction from 1971 to 1984, when service was suspended for the first time, due to the Springwood Rail Disaster. The accident damaged the rails and blocked the connection between Springwood and Sacromenta.
Between 1999-2005 ridership declined by 26%. The tracks, owned by Arrowhead and Western, were congested and in need of constant repairs. This reduced The Western Surfliners on-time-performace to just 2%. During these years, delays of 5-11 hours were common, giving it the nickname, The Western Lateliner. With increased budget and co-operation with Arrowhead and Western, the ridership jumped by 15%, while the on-time performance had jumped to 86%.
In 2018, a new highspeed rail plan, called the Pacific Corridor, was proposed by the Springwood County Transit Authority. The plans are currently being evaluated by the Sacromenta Transit Board and Citylink.