L Line
Overview
Other name(s)Gold Line (2003–2020)
StatusDefunct, split between A and E lines
OwnerLos Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Line number804
Termini
Stations26
Websitemetro.net/riding/l-line
Service
TypeLight rail
SystemLos Angeles Metro Rail
Depot(s)Division 21 (Elysian Park)
Division 24 (Monrovia)
Rolling stockSiemens P2000, AnsaldoBreda P2550 or Kinki Sharyo P3010 running in 2 or 3 car consists
Ridership4,999,638 (2021) Decrease -26.3%
History
OpenedJuly 26, 2003; 20 years ago (2003-07-26)
ClosedJune 16, 2023; 2 months ago (2023-06-16)
Technical
Line length31 miles (49.9 km)[1]
Number of tracks2
CharacterMostly at-grade in private right-of-way, with some street-running, elevated and underground sections
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
ElectrificationOverhead line750 V DC
Operating speed55 mph (89 km/h) (max.)
Route map
Map
APU/Citrus College
Azusa Downtown
Irwindale
Duarte/City of Hope
Monrovia
Arcadia
Sierra Madre Villa
Allen
Lake
Memorial Park
Del Mar
Fillmore
South Pasadena
Highland Park
Southwest Museum
Heritage Square
Lincoln/Cypress
Chinatown
Union Station
AmtrakFlyAway BusMetrolink (California)B Line D Line J Line 
 B Line   D Line 
Little Tokyo/Arts District
(
closed
2020
)
Pico/Aliso
Mariachi Plaza
I-5 (1961).svgI-10 (1961).svg I-5 / I-10
Soto
Indiana
Maravilla
East LA Civic Center
Atlantic

Handicapped/disabled access All stations are accessible

The L Line and Gold Line[2] are former designations for a section of the current Los Angeles Metro Rail system. These names referred to a single light rail line of 31 miles (50 km)[1] providing service between Azusa and East Los Angeles via the northeastern corner of Downtown Los Angeles, serving several attractions, including Little Tokyo, Union Station, the Southwest Museum, Chinatown, and the shops of Old Pasadena. The line, formerly one of seven in the system, entered service in 2003. The L Line served 26 stations (including two underground stations, and one open trench station).[1]

In October 2020, the line was broken into two disconnected segments with the closure of the Little Tokyo/Arts District station in preparation for the opening of the Regional Connector tunnel.[3] On June 16, 2023, the new tunnel opened, along with a new Little Tokyo/Arts District station in a nearby location.[4] As of that date, passengers may now transfer between the two segments of the former L Line at this station, or stay on board to continue through Downtown LA. The L Line ceased to exist as a distinct line within the system, with the northern half serving as an extension to the A Line and the southern half serving as an extension to the E Line.[5]

Service description

Route description

Northbound train at Atlantic station

The line's northern terminus was at APU/Citrus College station just west of Citrus Avenue and the two universities. The line ran west through Azusa before stopping at Azusa Downtown station at Azusa Avenue, north of Foothill Boulevard, near the downtown shops and government buildings.

Continuing west, the line crossed over the I-210 freeway and ran parallel to it, entering Irwindale before stopping at Irwindale station at Irwindale Avenue. After this station, the line continued west, crossing over the San Gabriel River and underneath the I-605 freeway, diverging from I-210 and entering Duarte, before stopping at Duarte/City of Hope station located on the north side of Duarte Road, across from the City of Hope National Medical Center.

Continuing west, the line paralleled Duarte Road, entering Monrovia, before diverging northwest just before arriving at Monrovia station. In this area, the line ran adjacent to single-family homes. Entering Arcadia, the train crossed all street crossings on bridges except for First Avenue at the at-grade Arcadia station.

Continuing west, the line reconverged with and entered the median of I-210 and continued west to Sierra Madre Villa station in Pasadena. Six stations served different parts of Pasadena, with three of them in the freeway's median. In Old Pasadena, the line traveled underground for almost half a mile, passing under Pasadena's main thoroughfare, Colorado Boulevard, which makes the Memorial Park station below grade. The station served most of Pasadena's fine dining, shops, malls, and civic center. The Pasadena City Hall is visible upon exiting the station. The line continued south through downtown Pasadena and South Pasadena, primarily at grade.

North of Highland Park, the route crossed over the Arroyo Seco Parkway (State Route 110) via the grand Santa Fe Arroyo Seco Railroad Bridge towards Highland Park. After Highland Park station, the train ran in the median of Marmion Way, where trains went at only 20 miles per hour (32 km/h). After 50th Avenue, the L Line operated primarily at grade in its own right of way, except for a short underpass below Figueroa Street.

From here, the route continued, with a handful of stations serving the hillside communities north of downtown, including Lincoln Heights, Mount Washington, the Southwest Museum of the American Indian. Northeast of Chinatown, the line crossed over the Los Angeles River on an elevated viaduct. Continuing on the elevated viaduct, the line stopped at Chinatown station before arriving at Union Station. This entire section of the line north of Union Station followed the current and former right-of-way of the Pasadena Subdivision.

At Union Station, riders could transfer to other trains and modes.

Transfers included:

South of Union Station, the L Line crossed over US 101 on a curved elevated viaduct into Little Tokyo, where the line then serviced the former at-grade Little Tokyo/Arts District station. After this, the line then swerved right to enter the median of 1st Street, crossing the Los Angeles River again, entering the neighborhood of Boyle Heights. Here, the L Line then serviced Pico/Aliso station, before diving underground underneath 1st Street to service Mariachi Plaza station and Soto station. Adjacent to Evergreen Cemetery, the line then reemerged at-grade in the median of 1st Street before swerving to the east side of Indiana street to service Indiana station. After this, the line swerved again to enter the median of 3rd Street, entering East Los Angeles. Crossing underneath SR 60 and above I-710, the line then serviced Maravilla station, East LA Civic Center station, and Atlantic station, where the line terminated.[6]

Prior to its discontinuation, the L Line was broken into two disconnected segments in October 2020, with the closure of the segment between Union Station and Pico/Aliso station, including the closure of Little Tokyo/Arts District station. This was done in preparation for the opening of the Regional Connector, which opened on June 16, 2023. Prior to this date, riders seeking to travel between the then disconnected segments of the L Line had to use a temporary bus shuttle to make the connection.

Hours and frequency

As of 2023, before the L Line was subsumed into the A and E lines, L Line trains ran every day between approximately 4:30 a.m. and 12:15 a.m. Trains operated every 10 minutes during peak hours Monday through Friday, and every twelve minutes during the daytime on weekdays and all day on the weekends. Evening service (after 7 p.m.) was every 20 minutes.[7]

Speed

L Line trains traveled at a maximum speed of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h). It took 48 minutes[8] to travel its 29-mile (47 km) length,[1] at an average speed of 26.2 mph (42.2 km/h) over its length. The L Line was particularly slow through the Highland Park area, where trains reach speeds of only 20 mph (32 km/h) while operating in a street running section on Marmion Way.

Station listing

The following table lists the stations of the former L Line, from north to south.

Station Date Opened City/Neighborhood Major connections and notes[9][10]
APU/Citrus College March 5, 2016 Azusa Park and ride: 200 spaces
Azusa Downtown Park and ride: 521 spaces
Irwindale Irwindale Park and ride: 350 spaces
Duarte/City of Hope Duarte Park and ride: 125 spaces
Monrovia Monrovia Park and ride: 350 spaces
Arcadia Arcadia Park and ride: 300 spaces
Sierra Madre Villa July 26, 2003 Pasadena Park and ride: 965 spaces
Allen
Lake Park and ride: 22 spaces
Memorial Park
Del Mar Park and ride: 610 spaces
Fillmore Park and ride: 155 spaces
South Pasadena South Pasadena Park and ride: 142 spaces
Highland Park Los Angeles (Highland Park)
Southwest Museum Los Angeles (Mount Washington)
Heritage Square Los Angeles (Montecito Heights) Park and ride: 129 spaces
Lincoln/Cypress Los Angeles (Lincoln Heights/Cypress Park) Park and ride: 94 spaces
Chinatown Los Angeles (Chinatown)
Union Station Los Angeles (Downtown) B Line D Line J Line 
AmtrakAmtrak, FlyAway (bus) LAX FlyAway and Metrolink (California) Metrolink
Paid parking: 3,000 spaces
Little Tokyo/Arts District November 15, 2009 Los Angeles (Little Tokyo/Arts District) At-grade station closed on October 24, 2020[11]
Pico/Aliso November 15, 2009 Los Angeles (Boyle Heights)
Mariachi Plaza
Soto
Indiana East Los Angeles Park and ride: 42 spaces
Maravilla
East LA Civic Center
Atlantic Park and ride: 289 spaces

Ridership

Following the extension to East Los Angeles in 2009, the line's ridership increased to almost 30,000 daily boardings.[12] As of October 2012, the average weekday daily boardings for the L Line stood at 42,417, and as of December 2014 the average daily weekday boardings had increased to 44,707. Following the extension to Azusa, ridership rose to 49,238 as of May 2016.

Annual ridership
Year Ridership
2009 7,629,332
2010 10,800,092 +41.6%
2011 11,935,709 +10.5%
2012 13,142,757 +10.1%
2013 13,415,083 +2.1%
2014 13,828,323 +3.1%
2015 14,267,244 +3.2%
2016 16,483,545 +15.5%
2017 16,546,196 +0.4%
2018 15,956,214 −3.6%
2019 15,090,394 −5.4%
2020 6,786,457 −55.0%
2021 4,999,638 −26.3%
2022 5,907,262 +18.2%
Source: Metro[12]
Graphs are temporarily unavailable due to technical issues.

History

Main article: History of Los Angeles Metro Rail and Busway

Construction of the L Line, near Duarte in 2014. Tracks are laid, but the overhead catenary has not been installed yet.

Much of the L Line's right-of-way through the San Gabriel Valley was built by the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad in 1885, eventually taken over by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, as part of the Pasadena Subdivision,[13] which saw Amtrak service until 1994, when construction began on the conversion to light rail.[14] The project was originally called the "Pasadena Metro Blue Line," and planners envisioned extending the existing Blue Line from Long Beach, but when a ban on sales tax spending on subway tunnels passed in 1998, the project became a separate line terminating at Union Station.[15]

The Gold Line opened between Union Station and Sierra Madre Villa station in East Pasadena on July 26, 2003.[16][17]

Following a new right-of-way, the Gold Line Eastside Extension extended the line east between Union Station and East Los Angeles, opening on November 15, 2009.[18][19][20]

Phase 2A (the section between LA and Pasadena was Phase 1) of the Foothill Extension, running between Sierra Madre Villa station and APU/Citrus College station in Azusa, opened on March 5, 2016.[21]

Regional Connector

Main article: Regional Connector

The Regional Connector Transit Project constructed a 1.9-mile (3.1 km) light rail tunnel across Downtown Los Angeles that connected the L Line with the A and E lines. The project finally completed the late 1990s vision of the "Pasadena Blue Line," connecting the northern (Union Station–Azusa) segment of the L Line to the A Line (formerly the Blue Line), which runs between Los Angeles and Long Beach. The southern (Pico/Aliso–East LA) segment was combined with the previously existing E Line, which ran between Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica. The new east–west line kept the E Line name but uses the L Line's gold color.[22][23]

The at-grade Little Tokyo/Arts District station was demolished in 2020 and was rebuilt as a subway station approximately 500 feet (152 meters) south and on the opposite side of Alameda from its former location. Between 2020-2023, shuttles connected the two portions of the line.[24]

The groundbreaking for constructing the Regional Connector took place on September 30, 2014, and it opened on June 16, 2023.[4]

After the Regional Connector opened, the L Line became the first letter designation on the Los Angeles Metro Rail system to be permanently discontinued.

Future developments

Foothill Extension

Main article: Foothill Extension

Phase 2B of the Foothill Extension, running between APU/Citrus College station in Azusa and the Pomona–North Metrolink station in Pomona, is currently under construction, with a current estimated completion date of 2026.[25] This extension, like the original Gold Line to Pasadena, and the first phase of the Foothill Extension is being built by a specialized construction authority, independent of Metro. The original plan called for the extension to end at Montclair in San Bernardino County, but budget challenges forced the construction authority to cut the line back to Pomona.[26][27]

When this project is completed, it will be served by the A Line.

Eastside Transit Corridor

Main article: Eastside Transit Corridor

Metro is planning an extension of the L Line's southern leg eastward from its current terminus at Atlantic station. The proposed line would travel south on Garfield Avenue to the Citadel Outlets in Commerce, then turn east on Washington Boulevard making stops in Montebello, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs and Whittier. The project is currently under environmental review, with a forecasted opening in 2035.[28] When this project is completed, it will be served by the E Line.

Operations

AnsaldoBreda P2550 train at Highland Park

The L Line was operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).

Maintenance facilities

The L Line fleet is stored and maintained and is operated at Division 21 and Division 24. Division 21 is located on Vin Scully Drive (Elysian Park Drive) just north of North Broadway, overlooking the Los Angeles River, and Division 24 is located south of the I-210 freeway in Monrovia.

As of April 2023, Division 11 and Division 14 have been added to the operations of the L Line. Division 11 is situated at the end of 208th Street between I-710 and the Los Angeles River in North Long Beach within the A Line. Division 14 is situated between Centinela Avenue and Stewart Street in Santa Monica within the E Line.

Rolling stock

Main article: Los Angeles Metro Rail rolling stock

An eastbound trainset on the then-Gold Line using two Kinki Sharyo P3010s

L Line trains are typically two-car trains off-peak. During peak hours on weekdays, some three-car trains run.[29][30] On New Year's Day, the L Line uses three-car trains for service to the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game.

Like the A, C, E, and K lines, trains are composed of high-floor articulated light rail vehicles (LRVs). The AnsaldoBreda P2550, the Kinki Sharyo P3010, or the Siemens P2000 operated the line. The P2000 initially operated the line in 2003 until 2012 when the fleet was transferred to increase availability at the A Line yard for service as a result of the inauguration of the E Line. During testing of the Regional Connector, the P2000 returned to L Line service as a result of training operations for post–Regional Connector service. Rolling stock is now shared between the A and E Lines, which subsumed the trackage of the L Line.

Incidents

The following noteworthy incidents have occurred on the L Line since opening.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Facts at a Glance". LACMTA. Archived from the original on March 19, 2023. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  2. ^ "Meet the Line Letters: Information for Metro Employees" (PDF). LACMTA. December 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 13, 2020. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
  3. ^ "Metro closing Little Tokyo/Arts District Station for nearly 2 years". Los Angeles Times. October 19, 2020. Archived from the original on October 24, 2020. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Von Quednow, Cindy (June 16, 2023). "Metro Regional Connector opens in Los Angeles, bringing more direct access to downtown". KTLA. Nexstar Media Group. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  5. ^ Fonseca, Ryan. "Ignore Those 'Line A' Signs. Metro's Blue Line Will Reopen As The 'A Line'". LAist. Archived from the original on September 26, 2019. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  6. ^ Guccione, Jean (November 17, 2006). "1st of two Eastside rail tunnels is finished". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 20, 2018. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "Metro L Line schedule" (PDF). Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. April 9, 2023. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 25, 2023. Retrieved June 24, 2023.
  8. ^ "Gold Line timetable" (PDF). LACMTA. June 24, 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 12, 2019. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  9. ^ "Metro L Line (Gold)". www.metro.net. Archived from the original on July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  10. ^ "Metro Parking Lots by Line". www.metro.net. Archived from the original on August 10, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  11. ^ "Metro: The Source. Bus shuttles to replace L Line (Gold) service between Union Station and Pico/Aliso Station during 22-month closure to complete the Regional Connector". September 15, 2020. Archived from the original on September 24, 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Metro Ridership". Metro.net. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. February 2020. Archived from the original on April 10, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  13. ^ Hawthorne, Christopher (May 20, 2016). "Why the Expo Line to Santa Monica marks a rare kind of progress in American cities". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 2, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  14. ^ Rasmussen, Cecilia (July 13, 2003). "Pasadena's Gold Line Will Travel a History-Laden Route". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  15. ^ Freemark, Yonah (March 26, 2010). "Los Angeles' Gold Line Foothill Extension Approved for Funding, Will Begin Construction Later this Year". The Transport Politic. Archived from the original on October 29, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  16. ^ Streeter, Kurt (June 19, 2003). "Gold Line Is Set to Open July 26". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  17. ^ Lund, Dr. Hollie & Willson, Dr. Richard W. (April 2005), The Pasadena Gold Line: Development Strategies, Location Decisions, and Travel Characteristics along a New Rail Line in the Los Angeles Region (PDF), San Jose, CA: Mineta Transportation Institute, archived (PDF) from the original on August 11, 2017, retrieved March 14, 2016
  18. ^ Bloomekatz, Ari B. (November 13, 2009). "Q&A : Gold Line links downtown and East L.A. : The 6-mile light-rail extension, which cost $898 million, will open Sunday with free rides and entertainment". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 2, 2019. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  19. ^ Bloomekatz, Ari B. (December 21, 2011). "L.A.'s historic 1st Street bridge reopens after 3-year closure". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 4, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  20. ^ Becerra, Hector (June 16, 2009). "Making the Eastside safe for Gold Line light rail extension". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 17, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  21. ^ Scauzillo, Steve (February 17, 2015). "Gold Line authority makes push for next extension from Azusa to Montclair". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  22. ^ "The most anticipated transit projects opening in time for the 2028 LA Olympics". Curbed LA. Archived from the original on November 25, 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  23. ^ Broverman, Neal (October 7, 2016). "Metro's Regional Connector Will Change Everything Los Angeles Magazine". Los Angeles Magazine. Archived from the original on June 19, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  24. ^ Hymon, Steve (September 15, 2020). "Bus shuttles to replace L Line (Gold) service between Union Station and Pico/Aliso Station during 22-month closure to complete Regional Connector". Metro. The Source. Archived from the original on September 24, 2020. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
  25. ^ Chiland, Elijah (June 23, 2017). "Metro approves $1.4B construction plan for Gold Line extension to Claremont". Curbed LA. Archived from the original on August 13, 2017. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  26. ^ Hymon, Steve (November 13, 2018). "Construction Authority releases plan to build Gold Line extension in two phases". The Source. Archived from the original on November 6, 2021. Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  27. ^ "2019-0528 – METRO GOLD LINE EXTENSION TO CLAREMONT". Metro Board. Archived from the original on November 6, 2021. Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  28. ^ "Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2". Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. December 16, 2011. Archived from the original on August 5, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  29. ^ "L.A. Metro to Make Major Improvements to the Metro Gold Line that Add Service and Help Relieve Crowding for East San Gabriel Valley Communities". www.metro.net. Archived from the original on January 13, 2019. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  30. ^ Hymon, Steve (March 11, 2016). "Gold Line to have some longer trains". The Source. Archived from the original on January 13, 2019. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  31. ^ Blankstein, Andrew; Abdollah, Tami (September 12, 2007). "7 hurt when Gold Line train hits truck at Highland Park crossing". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 10, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  32. ^ Abdollah, Tami; Rabin, Jeffrey L. (September 22, 2007). "6 hurt when Gold Line train hits vehicle". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  33. ^ "Big rig hits Gold Line tracks, causes traffic". Eagle Rock News. October 2007. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
  34. ^ Knoll, Corina (August 27, 2011). "Gold Line stabbing victim in critical but stable condition". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  35. ^ Allen, Lily (April 24, 2014). "Gold Line service suspended between Lake and Sierra Madre Villa stations due to freeway truck accident". The Source. LACMTA. Archived from the original on July 21, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  36. ^ Day, Brian (March 7, 2016). "Fiery crash on 210 Freeway severs just-opened Gold Line between Pasadena, Arcadia". San Gabriel Tribune. Archived from the original on March 9, 2016. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  37. ^ Winton, Richard (February 22, 2018). "Suspect in wild subway tunnel chase charged with six felonies". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 9, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  38. ^ Chen, Anna (April 26, 2018). "Gold Line: repairs completed, trains now resuming scheduled service". The Source. Archived from the original on December 26, 2018. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  39. ^ "Man suspected in Metro Gold Line stabbing death is charged". December 1, 2018. Archived from the original on March 23, 2023. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  40. ^ Uranga, Rachel (May 11, 2022). "Metro rail passenger set ablaze in unprovoked attack". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 16, 2022. Retrieved August 16, 2022.
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