Gold Line (Los Angeles Metro)
The Gold Line is a 31-mile (50 km) light rail line running from Azusa to East Los Angeles via Downtown Los Angeles serving several attractions, including Little Tokyo, Union Station, the Southwest Museum, Chinatown and the shops of Old Pasadena. The line, which is one of six in the Metro Rail system, entered service in 2003 and is operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The Gold Line serves 27 stations (including two subway stations).
|Metro Gold Line|
Northbound train at Atlantic station
|Other name(s)||Beginning in 2022:|
Line A (Northern portion-Blue Line)
Line E (Eastside portion-Expo Line)
|System||Los Angeles Metro Rail|
APU/Citrus College station
|Daily ridership||50,087 (July 2016; avg. weekday)|
|Opened||July 26, 2003|
|Character||Mostly at-grade in private right-of-way, with some street-running, elevated and underground sections.|
|Rolling stock||Trains run in 1-3 car consists|
|Line length||31 mi (50 km)|
|Number of tracks||2|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Electrification||750 V DC overhead catenary|
|Operating speed||55 mph (89 km/h)|
When the Regional Connector is complete in 2022, the Gold Line will undergo a complete restructuring of service. The portion of the Gold Line north of Little Tokyo will be joined with the Blue Line, forming the new A Line while retaining the Blue Line's coloring. In addition, the Eastside portion will be joined with the Expo Line, forming the new E Line, retaining the Expo Line's "E" and Gold Line's coloring.
Beginning in East Los Angeles, the Gold Line initially runs west toward Downtown Los Angeles. From its southern terminus at Atlantic, the line travels west along 3rd Street to Indiana Street, where it turns north for two blocks to 1st Street. From here, the line continues west to Little Tokyo, partly through a tunnel under Boyle Heights with two underground stations. At Alameda Street in Little Tokyo, the line turns north and crosses over the Hollywood Freeway, and stops at Union Station on tracks 1 and 2. At Union Station, riders can connect with the Metro Red and Metro Purple Subway Lines, the Metro Silver Line bus rapid transit line as well as several other Metro (MTA) bus lines, LADOT Dash lines, Metrolink regional commuter trains, and Amtrak services including Pacific Surfliner and long distance interstate trains, and Amtrak throughway motorcoaches connecting to San Joaquin trains originating at Bakersfield.
From Union Station, the Gold Line proceeds north on elevated rail to Chinatown and then crosses the Los Angeles River adjacent to the Golden State Freeway (Interstate 5). From here, the route continues north/northeast, serving the hillside communities north of downtown, including Lincoln Heights, Mount Washington and Highland Park. Through this stretch, the Gold Line operates primarily at grade, except for a short underpass below Figueroa Street.
North of Highland Park, the route crosses over the Arroyo Seco Parkway (State Route 110). The route continues through South Pasadena and then downtown Pasadena, primarily at-grade. In Old Pasadena, the line travels underground for almost half a mile long, passing under Pasadena's main thoroughfare, Colorado Boulevard. (Memorial Park station, just north of Colorado Boulevard, is below grade.) Finally, the Gold Line enters the median of the Foothill Freeway (Interstate 210) and continues east to Sierra Madre Villa station, in Pasadena just west of the Arcadia city limits.
East of Pasadena, the route crosses over the eastbound lanes of Foothill Freeway (Interstate 210) west of Santa Anita Avenue, with stops at the Arcadia Station, located at the corner of First Avenue and Santa Clara Street, then it crosses over Huntington Drive and stops at the Monrovia Station, north of Duarte Road at Myrtle Avenue. It continues eastbound with a stop at the Duarte/City of Hope Station located at the north side of Duarte Road, across the street from the City of Hope Medical Center, then continues going over the San Gabriel River and stops at the Irwindale Station at Irwindale Avenue, continues over the Foothill Freeway (Interstate 210) over Foothill Boulevard and stops at the Azusa Station at Azusa Avenue, north of Foothill Boulevard, and its terminus is at the APU/Citrus College Station just west of Citrus Avenue.
Hours of operationEdit
Metro Gold Line trains operate between 3:45 a.m. and 12:45 a.m. daily. (til 2:00 am Friday and Saturday nights)
Trains on the Gold Line operate every 7 minutes during peak hours Monday through Friday. Middays consist of 12-18 minute headways, while weekends all day have a frequency of 12–18 minutes. Nighttime service operates every 20 minutes.
The Gold Line trains travel at a maximum speed of 55 mph. It takes 73 minutes to travel its 31-mile (50 km) length, at an average speed of 21.9 mph (35 km/h) over its length. The Gold Line is particularly slow through the Highland Park area, where trains reach speeds of only 20 mph (32 km/h) due to several street crossings and through the curves, where trains travel at about 25 mph (40 km/h).
Following the extension to East Los Angeles in 2009, the line's ridership increased to almost 30,000 daily boardings. As of October 2012[update], the average weekday daily boardings for the Gold Line stood at 42,417 and as of December 2014[update] the average daily weekday boardings had increased to 44,707. Following the extension to Azusa, ridership rose to 49,238 as of May 2016.
Much of the Gold Line's current right-of-way through the San Gabriel Valley was originally 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, which saw Amtrak service into the early 1990s. This segment was part of the original plan for the Metro Blue Line, but when a ban on sales tax spending on subway tunnels passed in 1998, the project became a separate line terminating at Union Station.
Regional Connector Transit ProjectEdit
The Regional Connector is an under-construction light rail subway corridor through Downtown Los Angeles. It is designed to connect the current Blue and Expo Lines to the current Gold Line and allow a seamless one-seat ride between the Blue and Expo Lines' current terminus at 7th Street/Metro Center and Union Station.
Once this project is completed, the Blue, Expo, and Gold Lines will be simplified into two:
- Line A (colored blue)
- Line E (colored gold)
- Eastside Gold Line will connect to the Expo Line
- It will not connect with Union Station
The current at-grade Little Tokyo/Arts District station will be demolished and rebuilt as a subway station approximately 500 feet south and on the opposite side of Alameda from its current location.
The groundbreaking for the construction of the Regional Connector took place on September 30, 2014 and it is expected to be in public service by 2022.
Foothill Extension Phase 2BEdit
A second phase of the Foothill Extension, to Montclair in San Bernardino County, had a groundbreaking ceremony on December 2, 2017, with a current estimated completion date of 2026. It will also become part of Line A once the Regional Connector is completed.
Eastside Extension Phase 2Edit
Metro is considering a new extension of the Metro Gold Line in the Eastside. This second phase of the Eastside Corridor would extend the Gold Line's southern leg eastward, from its current terminus at Atlantic station to Whittier.
As of August 2010, Metro has completed the Alternatives Analysis phase. The next step for Metro is to conduct an initial environmental study, leading to publication and approval of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).
The two alignments to be studied in the DEIR are:
The following table lists the current stations of the Gold Line, from south to north.
|Station||Station Connections||Date Opened||City/ Neighborhood|
|Atlantic||Metro Local: 260
Metro Rapid: 762
Montebello Transit: 10, 40, 90
El Sol: City Terrace/ELAC, Whittier Blvd/Saybrook Park
|November 15, 2009||East Los Angeles|
|East LA Civic Center||Metro Local: 258|
El Sol: City Terrace/ELAC, Union Pacific/Salazar Park, Whittier Blvd/Saybrook Park
|Maravilla||Metro Local: 256|
Montebello Transit: 40
El Sol: Union Pacific/Salazar Park, Whittier Blvd/Saybrook Park
|Indiana||Metro Local: 30/330, 68 Shuttle (Weekdays Only), 106, 254, 665|
Montebello Transit: 40
Whittier Blvd/Saybrook Park
|Soto||Metro Local: 30, 251, 252, 605
Metro Rapid: 751
|Los Angeles (Boyle Heights)|
|Mariachi Plaza||Metro Local: 30/330, 106 (weekday)|
|Pico / Aliso||Metro Local: 30/330|
|Little Tokyo / Arts District||Metro Local: 30, 40, 330
LADOT DASH: A, D
|Los Angeles (Little Tokyo/|
|Union Station|| Metro Red Line
Metro Purple Line
Metro Silver Line
Metro Local: 40, 68, 70, 71, 78, 79
Metro Express: 442, 485, 487
Metro Rapid: 704, 728, 733, 745, 770
Big Blue Bus: Rapid 10
Foothill Transit: Silver Streak
LADOT DASH: B, D, Lincoln Heights/Chinatown
|July 26, 2003||Downtown Los Angeles|
|Chinatown||Metro Local: 28, 45, 76, 81, 83, 90, 91, 94, 96
Metro Rapid: 794
LADOT DASH: B, Lincoln Heights/Chinatown
LADOT Commuter Express: 409, 419
|Los Angeles (Chinatown)|
|Lincoln/Cypress||Metro Local: 28, 81, 90, 91, 94, 251
Metro Rapid: 751, 794
|Los Angeles (Lincoln Heights/|
|Heritage Square||Metro Local: 81, 83||Los Angeles (Montecito Heights)|
|Southwest Museum||Metro Local: 81, 83||Los Angeles (Mount Washington)|
|Highland Park||Metro Local: 81, 83, 256
LADOT DASH: Highland Park/Eagle Rock
|Los Angeles (Highland Park)|
|South Pasadena||Metro Local: 176||South Pasadena|
|Fillmore||Metro Local: 260, 686, 687
Metro Rapid: 762
Pasadena Transit: 20
|Del Mar||Metro Local: 177, 256, 260, 686, 687|
Metro Express: 501
Metro Rapid: 762
Pasadena Transit: 20
|Memorial Park||Metro Local: 180, 181, 256, 260, 267, 686, 687|
Metro Express: 501
Metro Rapid: 762, 780
Pasadena Transit: 10, 20
|Lake||Metro Local: 180|
Metro Express: 485
Pasadena Transit: 20
|Allen||Metro Local: 256, 686|
Pasadena Transit: 10
|Sierra Madre Villa||Metro Local: 181, 264, 266, 268|
Metro Express: 487
Foothill Transit: 187
Pasadena Transit: 31, 32, 40, 60
|Arcadia||Metro Local: 79, 487
Foothill Transit: 187
|March 5, 2016||Arcadia|
|Monrovia||Metro Local: 264
Foothill Transit: 270, 494
|Duarte/City of Hope||Metro Local: 264
Foothill Transit: 270, 272, 861 Green, 860 Blue
|Irwindale||Foothill Transit: 185||Irwindale|
|Azusa Downtown||Foothill Transit: 185, 187, 188, 280, 494, 690||Azusa|
|APU/Citrus College||Foothill Transit: 187, 281, 284, 488|
The Gold Line is operated in both the Division 21 Yard (Los Angeles River Yard) and Division 24 yard (Monrovia yard). Division 21 is located on Vin Scully Drive (Elysian Park Drive) overlooking the Los Angeles River, and Division 24 is located south of the I-210 freeway in Monrovia. These yards stores the fleet used on the Gold Line. It is also where maintenance is done on the fleet. Trains can access these yards via a single track junction.
Gold Line trains are typically two-car trains. During peak hours on weekdays, some three-car trains run. On New Year's Day, the Gold Line uses three-car trains for service to the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game. Service operates from approximately 4 am to 1 am, with service approximately every 7 minutes during peak hours, 12 minutes middays and on weekends and 20 minutes until the close of service.
Trains are composed of articulated light rail vehicles (LRVs) which are compatible with Metro's light rail systems. As of April 2012, the Gold Line uses 50 AnsaldoBreda P2550 LRVs (701–750). P2550s have been featured in many television ads by Metro.
In April 2012, Metro transferred the last of the Gold Line's Siemens P2000 trains to the Blue Line to transfer some overhauled Nippon Sharyo P850 (100–153) cars to Expo Phase 1 while the Ansaldobreda P2550 cars replaced the Siemens P2000 trains on the Gold Line.
On December 21, 2007, Metro introduced cars 233 and 235, which are the special commemorative trains for the 119th Tournament of Roses Parade and the 94th Rose Bowl Game. These are known as the 2008 "Tournament Train".
On October 3, 2007, Metro Gold Line trains began having advertisement banners on the sides of trains, like on the Metro Green Line. On February 13, 2008, Metro removed the banner ads on all Metro Gold Line trains. But in mid-June 2008, banners promoting the Long Range Transportation Plan were added on car 246. On July 14, 2008, banner ads were added on cars 229, 235, 236, 238, 239, 244, 250 and 302.
The following noteworthy incidents have occurred on the Gold Line since opening.
- September 11, 2007 – A driver was critically injured and six passengers, including an LA County Deputy Sheriff and the train operator, suffered minor injuries when a pickup truck ran a red light at Avenue 55 and Marmion Way before being hit by a train.
- September 21, 2007 – Six people suffered non-life-threatening injuries, including two minor injuries after an SUV broke off the crossing arms and was struck by a northbound Metro Gold Line train (243) at Avenue 50 and Marmion Way in Mt. Washington. The vehicle caught fire and a section of the train was also burnt. It was claimed that the female SUV driver had tried to beat the train. A local resident extinguished the fire in the car with a garden hose before Los Angeles Firefighters arrived.
- October 13, 2007 – Service was suspended for 12 hours at 1:20 am after a big rig hit the center divider of the eastbound Foothill Freeway at Sierra Madre Blvd. and went on the Metro Gold Line tracks. During the course of the accident, buses were provided to bypass the accident site.
- August 26, 2011 – An altercation between passengers resulted in a non-fatal stabbing during a trip through Pasadena. The train was stopped at the Memorial Park station where the victim was transported to a hospital and the suspect was detained.
- April 24, 2014 – Service was suspended between the Lake and Sierra Madre Villa stations after a collision between two tractor-trailers on the eastbound Foothill Freeway resulted in one vehicle landing on the Gold Line tracks, damaging the tracks and overhead wires. Full return to normal service took several days.
- March 6, 2016 - Service between Allen and Arcadia stations were disrupted for most of the evening - resuming Monday morning - one day after the opening of the Foothill Extension when a semi-truck driver lost control and sent his trailer onto the tracks.
- December 29, 2016 - A pedestrian was struck and killed by a train heading eastbound into the Arcadia station at 12:12 am. Full service was restored by 5:30 am.
- October 1, 2017 - A woman was fatally struck on a set of tracks at Pasadena Avenue and Monterey Road. The crash occurred about 7:35 AM.
- February 20, 2018 - A high speed pursuit ended in the Gold Line tunnel between Soto and Indiana stations, suspending service between Pico/Aliso and Indiana occurring around 10:00 PM. One male suspect was arrested as the female escaped. 
- April 26, 2018 - An accident on the I-210 freeway involving a FedEx truck that ended up on the Gold Line tracks in both directions between Lake and Memorial Park stations, damaging both the wires and the rails. This was a day after the line was suspended in Highland Park and South Pasadena for damaged wires.
- November 27, 2018 - A man is fatally stabbed while traveling on the westbound Gold Line just past the Azusa station. 
A Siemens P2000 train (the old Gold Line train) runs through South Pasadena.
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- "Facts at a Glance". LACMTA. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
- Guccione, Jean (November 17, 2006). "1st of two Eastside rail tunnels is finished". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
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- Hawthorne, Christopher (May 20, 2016). "Why the Expo Line to Santa Monica marks a rare kind of progress in American cities". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
- Rasmussen, Cecilia (July 13, 2003). "Pasadena's Gold Line Will Travel a History-Laden Route". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
- Freemark, Yonah (March 26, 2010). "Los Angeles' Gold Line Foothill Extension Approved for Funding, Will Begin Construction Later this Year". The Transport Politic. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
- Streeter, Kurt (June 19, 2003). "Gold Line Is Set to Open July 26". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
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- 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. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
- Bloomekatz, Ari B. (December 21, 2011). "L.A.'s historic 1st Street bridge reopens after 3-year closure". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
- Becerra, Hector (June 16, 2009). "Making the Eastside safe for Gold Line light rail extension". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
- Scauzillo, Steve (February 17, 2015). "Gold Line authority makes push for next extension from Azusa to Montclair". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
- "The Metro Blue Line will soon be called the 'A Line' • Long Beach Post". lbpost.com. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
- Broverman, Neal (October 7, 2016). "Metro's Regional Connector Will Change Everything Los Angeles Magazine". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
- Chiland, Elijah (June 23, 2017). "Metro approves $1.4B construction plan for Gold Line extension to Claremont". Curbed LA.
- "Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2". LACMTA. December 16, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "Metro Narrows Routes for Gold Line East Down to Two". EGP.COM. Eastern Group Publications, Inc. August 28, 2014.
- "Metro 501 Timetable" (PDF). LACMTA. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- "Metro 804 Timetable" (PDF). LACMTA. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 1, 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- "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. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
- Hymon, Steve (March 11, 2016). "Gold Line to have some longer trains". The Source. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
- "L.A. Metro, Rose Queen® and Royal Court Roll Out Special Commemorative Metro Gold Line Train for 119th Tournament of Roses Parade and 94th Rose Bowl Game®". LACMTA. December 21, 2007. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- Blankstein, Andrew; Abdollah, Tami (September 12, 2007). "7 hurt when Gold Line train hits truck at Highland Park crossing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
- Abdollah, Tami; Rabin, Jeffrey L. (September 22, 2007). "6 hurt when Gold Line train hits vehicle". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
- "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.
- Knoll, Corina (August 27, 2011). "Gold Line stabbing victim in critical but stable condition". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
- Allen, Lily (April 24, 2014). "Gold Line service suspended between Lake and Sierra Madre Villa stations due to freeway truck accident". The Source. LACMTA. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
- Day, Brian (March 7, 2016). "Fiery crash on 210 Freeway severs just-opened Gold Line between Pasadena, Arcadia". San Gabriel Tribune. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
- Sklar, Debbie (December 29, 2016). "Death on the tracks: Suicide or accident in Arcadia?". Retrieved December 29, 2016.
- Day, Brian (October 1, 2017). "Woman fatally struck by Gold Line train in South Pasadena". Retrieved October 1, 2017.
- Winton, Richard. "Suspect in wild subway tunnel chase charged with six felonies". latimes.com.
- Chen, Anna (April 26, 2018). "Gold Line: repairs completed, trains now resuming scheduled service". The Source. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
- "Man suspected in Metro Gold Line stabbing death is charged". December 1, 2018.
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