Expo Line train reaches 7th/Metro station in test run

Photo by Luis Inzunza/Metro.

An Expo Line train was tested on the stretch of tracks north of Washington Boulevard today, reaching the 7th/Metro Center station that it will eventually share with the Blue Line.

22 replies

  1. Will the Siemens trains be repainted to aqua blue to make sure passengers are able to distinguish that from the Nippon Sharyo trains on the Blue Line?

  2. How appropriate after Today’s “How do they do that?” post. Any word on how the two lines will share this station? One platform for departures and another for arrivals, or one side for Expo and one side for Blue?

  3. Could the LA Metro print shop maybe create some more professional looking “Test Train” signs?

  4. Heard a report on 1070 news that the line will open in the spring. What is the expected completion date of the Culver City station?

    • Hi Warren and everyone;

      There still is no opening date set — it all depends on how the testing continues to go. It’s obviously good that they got a train into 7th/Metro, but don’t project it to mean anything yet.

      As for the operations plan at 7th/Metro, I don’t yet know the plan to board trains. I’m also unaware of any plans to re-paint any trains. I think it will be easy to distinguish the two lines by the electronic signs on the trains themselves.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  5. @Simon Oh

    Metro doesn’t need to paint the whole train with a single color. A single strand colored cheat line does the exact same job but with less paint.

    Some of the ideas I already mentioned include:

    A flippable cheatline
    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Hph9YlPPhps/TwYMhuE9BVI/AAAAAAAAAGE/BOVeji2nmRs/s800/idea1.jpg
    Flip down when Red Line, flip up when it’s a Purple Line

    Install interchangeable panel railings
    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-StSct1Oi5PE/TwYMhrnDW1I/AAAAAAAAAGA/jE_8ZjCpUjs/s800/idea2.jpg
    Replace cheatline with correct color when needed

    Install LCD signs with colored texts
    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-rw663YaOgDY/TwYMiLCfSRI/AAAAAAAAAGQ/Htvx2Qm5K-o/s800/idea3.jpg

    All of these are much more cost efficient ways to do it then spending thousands of dollars painting the entire rail car set, especiailly considering that rail cars can be used interchangeably with one another on a different line.

  6. A step in the right direction.. Lets speed it up… “Allll abbboooard!”. Or shall I say; “Stand clear, doors are closing, this train wil be departing for Culver City..”

  7. I hope so Steve but I still have a hard time distinguishing red line from purple line trains on the subway. Seems easy enough but for some reason they keep public transport in LA just confusing enough to keep new riders away.

  8. PLEASE, REpaint these Metro Line cars….the paint choices only confirm that public transportation stereotypes: depressing, ghetto, and dirty. Moreover, the color treatment blends in too well with an urban environment-at pavement grade: Cars vs. Rail. I have only one word: OUCH!

  9. Just like the subway cars – no need to repaint the cars. Just better signage and announcements on board trains…hoping that the riding public will pay attention to them.

  10. The station signs for the blue line have not been upgraded for the expo line at 7th street and Pico. Wonder why?

  11. Does anyone know what buses will be connecting with the Culver City station in the Westside? Will any Santa Monica buses be stopping there I wonder?

  12. Pardon my ignorance, but why exactly do they need to test all the way up to 7th/Metro? Couldn’t they just get all that information off of the Blue Line? Especially since, I hear, they’ll be running overhauled Nippon Sharyo cars anyway.

  13. Test Trains Have Run Into 7th Street Before but Not when the Blue Line was Still Operating

    Loo At The Videos

    TESTING of the BLUE & EXPO Junction Oct 14th 2011

    EXPO LINE at Washington/Flower Junction DAY-2 Dec 14th

  14. @Y Fukuzawa:

    Some great (and simple) ideas. One thing that I’ve thought about for a while and think would improve the LCD signage is if the BACKGROUND was the line color and the text was either white or black (depending on which reads better). This would make the color even more apparent.

  15. @Steve White

    Whichever works best; if it’s an LCD display it’ll be easy to switch it the other way around depending on which is more preferable/easier to see for the riders.

    However most cities do tend to have a preference for the colored text over black background displays considering:

    A. The surroundings for the train in the subway/night time use/rainy day is already dark enough for the colored text against the black background to stand out from farther away as the train approaches. Tthe other way around, the color does stand out, but texts tend to smudge out when viewed from farther away (i.e. the red background used by Bank of America is harder to make out the “Bank of America” text compared to Citibank which uses a darker blue background over a white “Citibank” text, especially when viewed from farther away)

    B. You don’t want people sticking their heads out from the platform as the train approaches to figure out where train is going (disaster!); you want them to recognize it from as far away as possible before it approaches the platform for safety reasons.

    C. You can’t rely on station announcements 100% as there are people with hearing problems (elderly, the hearing disabled, etc.)

  16. xfor
    Joseph Melendrez on January 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM said:
    Does anyone know what buses will be connecting with the Culver City station in the Westside? Will any Santa Monica buses be stopping there I wonder?
    if you mean the Venice. Robertson station
    SM plans have line 5, line 6,line 12
    Culver will only stop on the street on washington
    if yiou mean the la cigenga station
    culver 4 -which might run 1/2 hour
    metro 217

  17. I hope this line opens soon, I am very tired of hearing it’s delayed. I will ride the line (when it opens) but come on things like this make people turn away from public transportation. Also test trains have been in and out of 7th/Metro when Blue Line is running during the day. Track 1 can be used for Blue Line trains and Track 2 can be used for Expo Line trains and improved signage all around the station.

  18. I, too, would like to see the rail cars’ exteriors spruced up, but I think the not-so-recently announced livery update is sufficient, with one small change: I’ve noticed that the reflective decals on the Red/Purple lines quickly changed color from gleaming white to urban grit. Might I suggest using reflective *black* decals for Metro Rail instead? I’ve seem these in use on cabs and other service vehicles and I think they would stand the test of time better while still adhering to Metro’s visual identity. (Many thanks from a design geek.) 🙂

  19. Nice suggestion, but I think the money should be spent for improved signage on platforms very similar to BART that make it clear WHICH train is arriving and at the platform. I can’t tell you how many new users and countless tourists and day trippers are utterly confused just trying to get to Hollywood, and it sure would help the rest of us who have to peer at the tiny joke of a sign on the trains themselves (referring to subway)–which brings up improving the signs on the subway trains themselves. The LRT fleet signs on trains seems adequate.