Gold Line Update: bus shuttles replace train service between Lake and Sierra Madre Villa stations until repairs complete

Power supply and support wires droop to the ground after yesterday's big-rig crash. The non-Metro tractor trailer involved in the accident was removed yesterday, but damage to the Gold Line is extensive. (Note the missing cantilevers on the right side of the second and third poles.)

Overhead power supply and support wires touch the ground after yesterday’s big-rig crash. The non-Metro tractor trailer involved in the accident was removed yesterday, but damage to the Gold Line is extensive. (Note the missing cantilevers on the right side of the second and third poles.)

Fallen wire and damaged track near the resting place of the tractor-trailer.

Fallen wire and damaged track near the resting place of the tractor-trailer.

Suspension of service between Sierra Madre Villa and Lake stations on the Gold Line continues Friday, as Metro crews work to repair extensive damage to the overhead power supply system and tracks caused by Thursday afternoon’s big rig truck accident on the 210 freeway.

Shuttle buses will replace trains between Lake, Allen and Sierra Madre Villa stations all day Friday, including both the Friday morning and afternoon rush hours. Trains will run every 10 to 12 minutes on the rest of the line — from Atlantic Station to Lake Station — with three-car, full platform trains.

Customers should allow for extra time in their commute, especially if they plan to catch the shuttle bus at Allen or Sierra Madre Villa stations. Those who normally park-and-ride from Sierra Madre Villa Station should consider using the Del Mar or Fillmore lots instead to avoid bus shuttle delays. Parking at Fillmore is limited. Parking at Del Mar costs $2 with proof of Metro fare (a TAP card, for example). Hint: you may have an easier time finding a space if you enter the garage from the Arroyo Parkway side.

Metro will continue with updates via The Source and on Twitter @metrolosangeles and @metroLAalerts as we proceed with repairs.

Categories: Service Alerts

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15 replies

  1. I think metro needs fence to protect the ROW. What If this accident occurred while a train was passing through.

  2. At Lake this morning, nobody seemed to be able to tell us which side of the platform went to East LA. After that fiasco, it took 40 minutes to move three stations because apparently a Metro vehicle was driving in front of the train. I only took the train today because you announced that trains were coming out every 10 minutes. I was 45 minutes late to work. With this kind of management, why expand the Gold Line? You’re not going to be able to handle the pressures of having more track.

  3. If there are TWO less stations to stop at (Allen and Sierra Madre), WHY are METRO Gold Lines running BEHIND at every 10 to 12 minutes? This is just causing a longer delay for commuters. It’s bad enough that the shuttle from Sierra Madre to Lake almost takes 20 minutes, and now we have to wait twice as long for the trains to depart for Union Station/East LA?

    • Hello B Jams,

      This is directly from our Rail Operations team:

      The Gold Line is running every 10-12 minutes because the location of our nearest useable crossover at Lake is at Del Mar station. This means that a northbound train that turns back at Lake must reverse run on the same northbound track, but traveling southbound, back to Del Mar, then crossover to the southbound track. This also means that the following northbound train must hold at Fillmore station until the southbound train clears the northbound track at Del Mar. If we were to run every 6 minutes, this would cause stop and go delays for all trains up and down the line because of the limited track capacity between Del Mar and Lake. In situations like these, we reduce the service in order to keep trains moving more efficiently throughout the entire line. Additionally, we have longer, 3-car trains running on each of these trips, so the amount of seating capacity we provide is nearly the same.

      I hope this answers your question!

      Jon Ross Alexander
      Writer, The Source.

  4. I have to agree with Gina. The Gold Line trains are overly crowded – I can only imagine how bad it will be when they extend service to the East. I think the extension is a big mistake and changes (more trains, etc?) need to be implemented before it is completed.

  5. Gina and Mia just stop your complaining. Of course you should expect delays for today’s service. This type of incident does not happen everyday so the Metro people are working it out and will learn from their mistakes. I ride the train everyday and today, I must say, I did not have any problems. The Metro guy at the Del Mar station was there to show us where to board for LA bound trains and I got to work quick and easy. When the extension opens, there will be things that come up and Metro will work them out. It is a PROCESS. Nothing every works perfectly the first time. DUH!

  6. So, does this mean that, this afternoon, the East LA bound train will be on the other track as it was yesterday?

    • Hi Daniel,

      From our Gold Line operators:

      Trains are currently using both tracks at Lake for both arrivals and departures, depending on train traffic. This means Your east-bound train may depart from either the DTLA-bound track or the SMV-bound track. Announcements will be made at the station alerting passengers which platform to board on, and there should be stations agents at Lake to assist customers as well.

      Thank you,

      Lily Allen
      Writer, The Source

  7. I am actually amazed at how organized this all has been. Delays, sure, but this is a pretty major undertaking and everything seems to be going as smoothly as possible. I’m impressed that a quasi-government agency can work so well. Congrats.

  8. Hello Jon Ross Alexander,

    And Thank You for your reply. It definitely provides more insight into the METRO Gold Line. But more on that in just a second….

    (1) Gina: METRO assumes MANY things about their operations and about those of us who use the Gold Line. They probably assumed that since the Lake Station stop was the end of the line, all Gold Line riders would have realized that the only direction available for travel was southbound. And since there was only one direction for travel, it was probably assumed that we riders would know that either track would take us to Union Station/East LA. Clarification on this track uncertainty from a knowledgeable METRO representative would probably have been an inefficient waste of manpower during this hectic period.

    (2) In my opinion, I see an improved attempt by METRO representatives to assist those of us who are using the Gold Line. During the last major 210 accident causing track-damage event, when we arrived at Lake Station, the METRO Gold Line conductor told us to exit the train because we were at the last stop. The conductor did not say anything else. Nobody knew where to go or how to continue to the Allen or Sierra Madre stations. Hundreds of people were simply walking down to the corner of Lake and Colorado and asking random strangers waiting for the buses. METRO representatives offered little help. So at least this time, it appears as though they have learned from their last mistake. This time, METRO representatives are much more visible and interacting with the riders at the Lake Station.

    (3) Jon Ross Alexander: Thank you for taking a moment out of your busy schedule to answer the questions I posted. It definitely provided more insight. But it definitely revealed that METRO did very little planning in “anticipation” of such problems. Wouldn’t it have been more logical in the planning process to install more “crossover sections” to prevent lengthy delays? It generally takes about two minutes to get from one station to the next along the Gold Line. Wouldn’t more available crossovers allow for less wait times and therefore, less stress and headache on those of us commuting via METRO? I sure do hope more crossovers are planned for the Gold Line extension.

    In addition, when I used the Gold Line this morning just shortly after 6am, I could be wrong, but I thought the train I took from Lake to Union was ONLY a 2-car train. I sure didn’t see the 3-car train that you mentioned were currently running.

    And as far as seating capacity, yes, I agree that having a 3-car train provides “nearly the same” amount of seats. Unfortunately, it does not help matters when single riders take up two seats, one for themselves and one for their backpack or groceries. It also doesn’t help seating availability when individual homeless are sleeping on the trains in the mornings, riding back and forth, taking up two to three seats at a time. That limits seating capacity as well. And when the expansion finally opens that will simply provide more opportunity for longer naps without interruption. Because as many of us paying customers can tell a METRO representative, rarely do we see METRO Fare Inspectors or LA County Sheriff actually boarding the trains in the morning to clear the trains of those who are just taking a free ride. Most of the time, Fare Inspectors or county Sheriff are just at Union Station, where it’s nice and warm and close to a Starbucks, checking for tickets as we exit, as opposed to do anything to those who are already on the train, taking it for a free ride. I could be wrong, but I’m sure there are plenty of other people who would support this point of view.

  9. Of course, this means that traffic is horrible on California Blvd because the gates come down when a train is waiting at Fillmore. I live a block away from that crossing, and I had to wait over 5 minutes just for the gates to go up.

  10. Lily – Any word yet if the repairs to the Gold Line will be finished by Monday morning commute? Have they said when they project the Sierra Madre Villa station will be back in service?

    • Hi Mia,

      Unfortunately, repairs are ongoing and completion time remains to be seen. We will provide updates as soon as there are any, and certainly on Sunday about what to expect for Monday morning commute. Thank you for your patience and for sticking with us.

      Lily Allen
      Writer, The Source

  11. Metro needs higher and stronger K-Rails and walls to protects its transit stations and customers they are in the middle of the roadways. There is a higher center divider on the 60 East of the 605. Why can’t Metro and Caltrans get their act together to built higher center divider system wide?