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Antelope Valley commuters face another day without Metrolink

Service for Metrolink trains, like this one at Los Angeles Union Station, have been disrupted in the Antelope Valley because of the Sand Fire.
Service for Metrolink trains, like this one at Los Angeles Union Station, have been disrupted in the Antelope Valley because of the Sand Fire.
File photo by Sharon McNary/KPCC

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Thousands of commuters who board Metrolink trains from the Antelope Valley to head south to Los Angeles and beyond will likely be stranded a second day on Tuesday because of the Sand Fire burning in Santa Clarita Valley.

The fire, which as of Monday had consumed more than 33,000 acres and forced thousands to evacuate, left many commuters without a way to get to work. 

Passengers planning to travel in and out of Lancaster and Palmdale on Monday were out of luck as the rail service discontinued trains in areas affected by the fire and did not offer bus service to replace them.

Lancaster resident Angela Chester, a pastoral counselor, was preparing to head to her office in Long Beach when she saw the news of the disrupted rail service on Twitter.

"It’s just the inconvenience of, 'Oh, no, that’s the train.' OK, well, maybe they have the charter bus ... then it says, 'OK, no bus bridge,'" she said.

Commuters able to make it to the Via Princessa station could take the train to Union Station, but they would have to get to Via Princessa on their own since Metrolink offered no bus service from stations farther north.

Chester shares a car with her husband, which he uses to get to his job as a music engineer in L.A. So she takes the Metrolink Antelope Valley line into Union Station and transfers to the Metro Blue Line to Long Beach, a two-hour commute.

She stayed home on Monday and held sessions with her clients on Skype.

Metrolink officials said service between Via Princessa north to Acton, Palmdale and Lancaster will remain closed indefinitely until the U.S. Forest Service and Los Angeles County Fire Department give the go-ahead.

For the most updated information on Metrolink service changes, check the agency's website.