The magnitude 6.7 earthquake shook the region and caused loss of life, injuries and more than $40 billion in infrastructure damage when it struck on January 17. The shaking caused several freeway structures to collapse and some of the region’s busiest freeways were closed to traffic.
The railroad tracks were not affected in these areas and Metrolink had the unique ability to accelerate expansion plans by nearly 10 years to help Southern Californians get back to work, school or wherever they needed to travel. The then Santa Clarita Line added additional stops from Santa Clarita, including Lancaster, Palmdale, Sylmar/San Fernando, Vincent Grade/Action, Via Princessa and Camarillo. Amazingly, Metrolink was able to build the Palmdale and Lancaster stations in just three days, and beginning service exactly after the earthquake rocked the region.
This service was a necessity as daily ridership on that line jumped from 1,000 to 21,952 in the week after the earthquake.
The Palmdale Metrolink Station closed on June 20, 1994 as needed safety upgrades were not made when trains moved from borrowed freight tracks to Metrolink-owned tracks.
The Clock Tower Plaza at the Palmdale Transportation Center showcases an indoor passenger waiting area complete with concession machines, public telephones, comfortable seating, restrooms and security service as well as an enclosed, heated outdoor waiting area.
The Palmdale Transportation Center provides riders with a state-of-the-art transportation facility. This regional multi-modal hub offers connections between Metrolink and Antelope Valley Transit Authority local and commuter bus service, Santa Clarita Transit, Greyhound bus service and Amtrak Throughway bus service.