Restyled train car rolls out!

Side view of the new paint and decal styling designed by Metro Creative Services, including “Metro” supergraphics and yellow dot patterns conveying motion and Southern California sunlight. Nighttime and daytime train visibility has been greatly enhanced.

Side view of the new paint and decal styling designed by Metro Creative Services, including “Metro” supergraphics and yellow dot patterns conveying motion and Southern California sunlight. Nighttime and daytime train visibility has been greatly enhanced.

As reported last week, a “mocked up” Metro rail vehicle with new styling and graphics designed by Metro Creative Services is rolling through the Blue and Expo Line this week to test its performance. Car 148 left the Blue Line yard on its maiden voyage this afternoon. Have you seen it?

On display are bold reflective yellow markings and white super-graphics overlaid onto painted cool greys intended to create a safer and more attractive vehicle.

The distinctive styling and graphics have been applied to a Nippon Sharyo P2020 car (used on the Blue and Expo Lines), but are intended for the entire rail fleet. Slight variations and tweaks may occur until the styling is perfected and agreed to by Metro department stakeholders for both operational maintenance and aesthetics.

Learn more and view photos of the designs here.

23 replies

  1. i think the yellow bar at the top at each side of the cars should be longer, towards the door. It looks a little short and less substantial since the bottom line extends the length of the cars.

  2. @mike ahuja: According to the article, the livery will be applied to the entire rail fleet. I believe the yellow color on the ends of the railcars is not meant to reference the gold of the Gold Line, but rather to make the trains even more visible than they are now.

  3. Dull–with all the colors of Califonia’s sunsets to pick from Metro choses gray with some yellow–yawn. At lease you guys didn’t pay some design firm millions for it. Next time drink some sangria before the design committe meeting instead of Arrowhead Water and leave the pitcher on the table. Then look at the sun thru it–that should give you some ideas. Dot patterns are a good start though–ask Roy!

  4. I propose (if this hasn’t been thought of already) that since the light rail vehicles have the yellow accent on the ends, the heavy rail subway vehicles should have a red accent on the ends done the same way. That way, in a nod to L.A. transit history, the heavy rail cars can in a sense be the modern-day “Red Cars,” and the LRVs can be the modern-day “Yellow Cars.”

  5. @ Nelson,I like that idea, but I think that the yellow or red reflective material isn’t necessary on the red or green lines because they are completely grade separated.

    Anyways, this realy helps the sharyo cars look fresh. I think it should be done to them first.

  6. Personally, I’d have been happy to see the Pacific Electric commemorative paint job made permanent on the two cars that bore it.
    Ironic: you can see a PCC in PE colors on the SF Muni; you can see vintage and reproduction trolleys in PE colors on the San Pedro tourist line, and you can see severely foreshortened life-size models of PE Red Cars, in two different period color schemes, (battery powered and running under dummy overhead) at Disney’s California Adventure, but (except for a year or two, some years back) you can’t see PE colors on a line that includes actual vintage PE right-of-way.

    • Hear, hear! The old Pacific Electric colors of orange and red are exactly what I had in mind, but didn’t have the nerve to say it. Of course some designers might say that that would be going backwards not forwards. And presenting a “backwards” scheme might seem as though no one showed up at work. But the red/orange PE scheme was ahead of its time and very hard to beat. Why not start with those hues and apply them with some 21st Century abandon?

  7. All – first off – remember that the most recent purchase of LRV’s (Light Rail Vehicles) have stainless steel shells – these do not get painted like the two earlier series of LRV’s. My guess is that the color choices here, beyond the visibility issues was to make the original Blue Line and P-2000 vehicles look more like the stainless steel ‘Breda cars.

    Secondly, with the completion of the Crenshaw/LAX line (which will have a revenue connection to the Green Line) no Metro line or trip will be 100% grade seperated any longer. As I understand the design and intent (from the projects website), it will be possible to route trips from Norwalk to Crenshaw and reverse as well as Redondo Beach to Crenshaw and reverse.

    Lastly, the Red Line vehicles are also Stainless steel and do not get painted, they have decals. Even the decals have to be specially designed and fabricated because the stainless steel Red Line vehicles are “acid washed” which is different from how the other vehicles are washed.

  8. Another thing I’d like to see, that I think should have been adopted years ago, is color-coded headsigns. CTA’s “L” cars have been that way for years: roll-type headsigns that change background color according to the route (and in the case of their blue and green lines, switch to colored letters on a white background for trains headed for the secondary branch). According to some pictures I just now saw on the Web, they now have electronic headsigns that display a colored bar for the route (not quite sure how they make that work with their brown line, though!)

  9. I personally think orange would have been a better color than yellow, to have a stronger tie between Metro Local buses and trains, and to avoid any confusion about “Yellow train = Gold Line” that I’ve seen in the comments on this blog.

  10. @Robb, I think that orange would be better, because it would match with the busses, like you said. Even though there is an orange line, I don’t think it would cause confusion because the orange line is a bus. Personally I would like the Santa Ana line to be named te orange line. I think that the heavy rail lines don’t need the reflective coloring because they are completely grade separated, and the cars look great as it is.

  11. As Tom Said the 1940 PE red and orange looks very good on this car and no doubt it would look good on the Siemens also. For about 2 years the 148 and the 109 ware the PE red & orange paint scheme and they looked very good. But I think that the MTA wants you to think “modern” and not to associate our LRT system with the PE and what we had and threw away.
    I hope that that they chose silver and not gray so that the cars can be seen at night. They tried gray in the past and the cars disappeared at dusk and into the night.

  12. Oh Metro and your problem with colors and color coding. From a design perspective, the single car looks okay, but the FLEET, should be consistent. Orange would have been good since the majority of our buses are that color, however, that same orange on those buses does not represent speed when it comes to Uncle Metro. So that would maybe leave us with red, which signifies RAPID, but that would be just as bad as yellow, since we have a Red Line, which is what i’d bet most of the tourist use while they are here; and probably confused enough already about our Metro system. Hertz, Budget, Rent-A-Wreck, Enterprise, and every Taxi company love you Metro, and your lack of ability to make things idiot proof. After five to fifteen seconds of looking at a ridiculous map, where every popular destination has about 7 miles between it (L.A.), Im calling a taxi.

    Imagine a day when people will never get on the wrong train at Wilshire Vermont. One can dream cant they?

  13. All, Please remember that once the Regional Connector Transit Corridor and Crenshaw/LAX Projects are completed all of the current “Line Colors/Names” will be up for grabs. The RCTC will establish two “single seat” rides – one from Santa Monica to the the end of the East Side Gold Line and a second from Long Beach to the End of the Foothill Line (depending upon funding and ultimate local alternative choices for the third phase) which could be the Ontario Airport. Crenshaw’s connection to the current Green Line will mean trains leaving/arriving Norwalk will have two potential destinations/origins – Crenshaw and Redondo Beach.

    The next decade will see significant changes to the light rail transit system in LA County – and will likely take some getting used to for all those who have been around the entire time it has grown.

  14. Gray is NOT the most drab color–that would be brown. Remember the opening scene of “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit”–with its New Haven Railroad electric commuter train–pretty neat I think. Brown on the other hand brings to mind the ill-fitting Cold War suits of Boris & Co. the commissars of the local Soviet Embassy. Thank you Metro Art Dept. for at least not “Going Brown”!