New light rail car designs in the works

Detail of the new, bright yellow and white reflective markings and paint scheme rail car styling designed by Metro Creative Services.  A test “mock up” was applied to an older car model by Lee Hetherington (right) in Blue Line Fleet Services and his capable team.

Detail of the new, bright yellow and white reflective markings and paint scheme rail car styling designed by Metro Creative Services. A test “mock up” was applied to an older car model by Lee Hetherington (right) in Blue Line Fleet Services and his capable team.

As previously reported, the Metro Board of Directors recently approved purchasing new light rail vehicles from Kinkisharyo International. Metro’s Creative Services group has since been hard at work creating distinctive styling and graphics for the new rail cars as well as the entire rail fleet.

“The forward looking design is intended to capture the vibrant spirit of Los Angeles,” said Jorge Pardo, Director of Art & Design for Creative Services. “We are seeking to transform Metro’s trains into gleaming, contemporary vehicles that express L.A. as a world class urban center. We’re creating a safer train and doing it with a sense of style that the world now expects of L.A.”

The the workhorse Nippon Sharyo P2020 car were the first in Metro’s fleet to receive the bold reflective yellow markings and white super-graphics overlaid onto painted cool grays of the vehicle chassis (these cars are used on the Blue and Expo Lines). A “mocked up” vehicle with the new trimmings will roll out next week and be under close performance assessment. Slight variations and tweaks may occur until the styling is perfected and agreed to by Metro department stakeholders — they want to make sure the cars work both aesthetically and can be maintained.

Full side view with new paint and decal styling, including “Metro” supergraphics and yellow dot patterns conveying motion and Southern California sunlight. Nighttime and daytime train visibility has been greatly enhanced.

Full side view with new paint and decal styling, including “Metro” supergraphics and yellow dot patterns conveying motion and Southern California sunlight. Nighttime and daytime train visibility has been greatly enhanced.

Existing train designs, featured on the Blue and Expo Lines.

Existing train, featured on the Blue and Expo Lines.

Incorporating enhanced safety was a critical objective of the design. Improvements include bright, large scale, reflective white and yellow decaling that make trains more highly visible – particularly at night – and therefore create safer conditions for customers approaching trains and at intersections.

“The increased reflectiveness of the train surfaces is impressive,” said Lee Hetherington, a 16-year veteran Metro Rail Body/Paint Leader in Fleet Services. “These trains are sure to stimulate new ridership. Other transit agencies across the nation will be envious of our bold, fresh looking trains.”

With its new styling, Metro trains will present a cohesive and more visible rolling billboard for the agency county-wide, encouraging discretionary riders and creating a safer and more attractive ride for our customers.

Designs are still being finalized. Stayed tuned for updates in the coming months.

See Fleet Graphics Concept presentation for background:

Metro Rail Vehicle P3010

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39 thoughts on “New light rail car designs in the works

  1. Pingback: Metro Sporting New Trains | SouthLA

  2. It might seem like a small detail, but it would be nice to see silver used instead of grey, given that silver and bare metal were supposed to be the colors implemented on the rail livery to this day, as I understand it.

    Also, it would be wise for Metro to be open to using reflective black “Metro” decaling for a couple reasons:
    – The contrast between black and silver or light grey is greater than you’d get with white on light grey / silver; and reflective black decals should not be hard to come by as they are already in use on some taxi livery.
    – I’ve noticed the white reflective decaling that exists on the Red / Purple lines tends to look very dirty. Black decals would minimize the filth factor.

    And just out of curiosity, is there a timetable for the rollout of the new livery? I’ve seen the prototype running on the Expo Line once, but only once.

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  4. What about the bright California Poppy (Orange) color that Metro currently use on its buses? Use a similar pattern as proposed with instead of yellow to show brand and network identity, branding different colors for things too much and too often degrades that fact that this is a transit network and it doesn’t simplify matters for a new transit user it complicates them. In fact it solves the problem with the Black M logo and its a color similar to the sun that creative team thought of.

    In addition this could work on the BRT lines that create a distinctive but unified branding for our transit network and save the agency a lot of money without having to reduce fares as they don’t need to have so many different colors for the livery, its just the two silver and orange.

  5. Correct to : “In addition this could work on the BRT lines that create a distinctive but unified branding for our transit network and save the agency a lot of money without having to INCREASE fares as they don’t need to have so many different colors for the livery, its just the two silver and orange.

  6. I agree. The design is good and a definitely improvement but the color choice is very poor. All red or blue would be a huge improvement. The city has enough silver and grey as it is.

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