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Metrolink Laguna Niguel / Mission Viejo New Station
Friday, April 19, 2002
http://www.trainweb.com/news/2002/2002d19a.html

A new Metrolink Station has been built to serve Laguna Niguel / Mission Viejo near the intersection of Crown Valley Parkway and Forbes Road just a block from Interstate 5. The new Metrolink Station will open for service on Monday, April 22, 2002.

CLICK HERE
for more detailed coverage from the Orange County Register (ocRegister.com)

The Orange County Register article appeared in the "Local" section of the Saturday, April 20, 2002, newspaper and was titled "Braking in new stop". Despite the implication in the article that the Metrolink trains "slowed down to take a closer look", all the trains that I saw appeared to speed through the station at full speed without slowing down at all. Early Saturday afternoon, my wife and I were driving to a restaurant for lunch. She was flipping through the Orange County Register newspaper, not looking for anything in particular. From the corner of my eye, I saw a photo of a Metrolink train on one page. I asked her to flip back to that page so that I could see how much coverage was provided to this event. When I got a better look at the photo, I was surprised to see that it not only showed a photo of a Metrolink train speeding through the new station, but also a picture of me on the platform taking a picture of that train, though it was only a picture of the back of me! Above on the left is a photo of that page from the Orange County Register and on the right is the photo that I took of the train at that moment.

I am not too sure of exactly what to call this event. There were no speakers or any presentation, the train station did not open today and, thus, no trains stopped at the station today. However, there were a number of people from Metrolink, OCTA and the media on hand, plus there were balloons, banners, and lots of free pastries and beverages.

Evidently there was supposed to be a station dedication today, but from what we heard, Governor Davis had to cancel at the last moment and the dedication has been rescheduled. A date that we heard mentioned was Monday, April 29, 2002. But, in any case, Metrolink trains will start serving this station on Monday, April 22, 2002.

Since the event was originally scheduled to start at 8:45 A.M. this morning, Ray and I decided to meet along the way. Ray took a southbound Metrolink train that departed the Fullerton Station at 7:17 A.M. and I drove from my home in Anaheim Hills directly down the 241 toll road to the Irvine Station. I got there in time to see Ray's Metrolink train arrive at 7:53 A.M.

The new Metrolink Laguna Niguel / Mission Viejo Station and the Tustin Station are expected to take a lot of the parking problem off of the Irvine Station. From what I saw at the Irvine Station, the parking lot was still pretty full even though the Metrolink Tustin Station has been open for a few weeks. However, the temporary free valet parking lot was definitely not as crowded as it used to be. The parking problem in Irvine will probably be further improved once Metrolink trains start serving this new Laguna Niguel / Mission Viejo Station on Monday, April 22, 2002.

We then got into my car and drove to the new Metrolink Laguna Niguel / Mission Viejo Station via the 5 Freeway. The station is on Forbes Road just off the Crown Valley Parkway Exit on the 5 Freeway. There were signs pointing the way starting from the corner of Crown Valley Parkway and Forbes Road.

A number of people were already at the station when we arrived. Metrolink had put up a mini-blimp in the shape of a Metrolink train. You can see a photo of that above. There were a number of tall round tables set up as well as one or two dozen chairs. There was a hostess serving free coffee, including cappuccino.

The parking lot and all the festivities were on the southbound side of the track. A pedestrian tunnel is provided for those that need to get to the other platform, including an elevator for that are physically disabled. See the photos below.



We observed a number of trains pass through the station. All of them were traveling at high speed and did not stop at the station. While I was waiting for a southbound Amtrak train, a person in an orange vest and hardhat instructed everyone to stand FAR behind the yellow line. He said that the Amtrak trains will often fly though the station at almost 90 miles per hour and that standing just behind the yellow line is still too close to the tracks. When the Amtrak train came flying through the station, it was obvious what he meant! Even though we were standing several feet behind the yellow line, we were all hit by a rush of air and papers went flying everywhere!

Unfortunately, the in-house staff members of TrainWeb will not be able to cover the official dedication of this station if it does happen on Monday, April 29, 2002, as we will all be at the Amtrak Historical Society Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon. If any TrainWeb visitors are able to attend this event and send us any photos and materials from the event, we will be happy to publish those photos and provide credit.

CLICK HERE
FOR PHOTOS & COVERAGE OF THE
OFFICIAL GRAND OPENING AND RIBON CUTTING CEREMONY
FOR THIS STATION!


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