Gold Line service, June 28 to Jul 5

Here’s our latest update on Gold Line maintenance for the week of Jun 28 to Jul 5. (For specific departure times from Sierra Madre Villa, Union Station and Atlantic Station during maintenance schedules, please check the Service Advisories page.)

steve trees

Lovely photo by our own Steve Hymon of the Gold Line hurtling through the Arroyo Seco trees.

As we’ve mentioned before, this Saturday and Sunday, Jun 27 and 28, Gold Line customers  should anticipate trains every 20 minutes between Union Station and Pasadena from start of service through 10:30 a.m. On Saturday morning, trains will share one track at Lincoln/Cypress, Heritage Square and  Southwest Museum stations. On Sunday, trains headed to downtown/East L.A. and Pasadena will board on the same platform at Highland Park Station. Crews will be trimming the trees that make for peaceful views while riding the Gold Line, but also need upkeep so their branches don’t interfere  with trains or wires.

GDL trees

And what it feels like to speed by said trees, captured by Andy Nystrom and shared via Flickr/CC.

Crucial traction power and track inspection work will also continue on the Gold Line next week. Monday, Jun 29 through Wednesday, Jul 1, trains will run every 15 minutes along the entire line from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., sharing one track at Highland Park. On Thursday, Jul 2, trains will again arrive every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., but will share one track at South Pasadena and Fillmore.

Longer, three-car trains will be in service as midday maintenance occurs, so customers should board using the entire platform to avoid crowding.

Fourth of July weekend is around the corner, and Metro will be running enhanced service on all rail lines, including the Gold Line, this Jul 4, to facilitate safe, easy travel to and from holiday events. Sunday morning, Jul 5, from open to 10:30 a.m., the Gold Line will again run every 20 minutes between Union Station and Pasadena, as crews continue with more tree trimming.

As many are already aware, maintenance planned for the Gold Line in the coming weeks is related to the damaged overhead wires that resulted in delays and emergency repairs this past April. The disruption prompted a comprehensive inspection of the entire line’s overhead power supply system and a prematurely frayed tension cable was found to be the root of the problem. Other segments of the Gold Line were noted to be at similar risk.

If you’re wondering why the cables need repair — besides the normal wear and tear of operation, the Gold Line travels through a number of sharp curves and grade changes and runs over multiple bridges. All of this translates into extra stress on the cable, and thus, extra upkeep.

Metro has been replacing a number of the tension wires on the Gold Line and other smaller, related components that exhibit signs of wear. All of this is done in order to keep the Gold Line in a state of good repair so that we can continue to provide efficient, reliable and safe service.

Maintenance is scheduled on weekdays during off-peak hours, when it is easiest and safest for trains to bypass works zones. While this is still inconvenient for many, if we do not prioritize this work and an element identified as “weak” fails, the impact on Gold Line service and customers would be much greater. Metro is aiming to have the work done by the end of July.

Metro thanks everyone whose commutes will be affected by these service changes for their understanding. As construction is a dynamic process, please check in with us here at The Source or on Twitter @metrolosangeles or @metrolaalerts for any updates before you start your trip.

23 replies

  1. “And if you’re wondering why the cables need repair — besides the normal wear and tear of operation, the Gold Line travels through a number of sharp curves and steep hills, and runs over multiple bridges. All of this translates into extra stress on the cable, and thus, extra upkeep.”

    Any wear and tear because of track alignment is normal. This is not extra-ordinary.
    The Gold Line does not have any “steep hills”. It is a steel wheel on a steel rail.
    The area that failed in April is almost prefectly flat (not quite level) and straight.

  2. Um, duh?

    Everything technological needs eventual maintenance and repair. I’m sure every other city and country that have good mass transit has maintenance work involved some way or the other. The question then becomes, why is it that they can keep their systems operational when they do them whereas LA keeps having service advisories causing delays? Japan doesn’t seem to have any issues of trains always arriving on time and I’m sure they have their own maintenance to do for their expansive rail systems:

    https://youtu.be/ScVMxwmUBLw

  3. I thought only Mussolini made the trains run on time?

    Japan does not waste trillions on defense. They spend it on infrastructure for their nation. The result is trains that run on time.

    • Gary,

      Incorrect.

      If you care to do your research, no taxes are used to run trains in Japan. Their trains are run by for profit corporations and are completely privatized. They even sell stocks on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, you never see Amtrak, Metro or NYCMTA shares being sold on the NYSE for investors to buy, but they do! And they have multiple competitors running mass transit too, not just one.

      Competition and privatization makes trains in Japan run on time.

      • Workers do their job because of competition and privatization. Competition and privatization is the reason why Japan is decades ahead of us in mass transit.

        Workers don’t do their job under government monopoly. Metro is a fine example of that. Under government monopoly, it takes them forever just to even update a webpage (taptogo.net), takes them 20 years to figure out the honor system didn’t work, and continues to waste taxpayer money on trivial things like naming stations after politicians over and over again.

        http://www.publiusforum.com/images/govtatwork.gif

      • OTOH, there’s no incentive for workers to work hard and do their job efficiently without competitors and the drive for profitability. Company does good, employees will get benefits like stock incentives and year-end bonuses. Employees get to work more diligently when striven for success. Employees don’t work as hard when there’s no competitor and doesn’t matter whether they do their job right or wrong because they get paid either way. Bureaucrats and public employees are like that, no matter how poor of a performance, they get paid anyway from taxpayers. Why do you think our school system sucks?

      • Except that this line was not constructed by Metro, it was built by what is now the Metro Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority, using private contractors who obviously mis-installed the wire. But they did it “On time and under budget”.
        Perhaps your bile needs to be directed there?

  4. HEYYY! anything for it not to become the BART. BART is terrible and expensive because people complained about paying for maintenance

    • I’ve spend 20 years riding BART in the SF bay area. Right now only the Red and Purple lines are up to the BART level of service. The rest of the Metro system isn’t; some of the system (like the Gold Line near Highland Park) seems to run at horse trolley speed. I would love to have most of the Metro lines upgraded to a BART system.

      Also, in the bay area, single tracking is considered serious enough to get reported on the local news with their traffic report. A bus bridge get it’s own story.

  5. Is there a reliable schedule for the gold line tomorrow? I don’t think the planner is working on the right schedule and I have a rather important appointment I can’t be late to.

    • Hello,

      While some maintenance can be done after hours, there may be restrictions depending on the nature of the work due to worker safety, noise and city permit issuance.

      Thank you,

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

    • According to the timetable, the last scheduled train arrives at Union Station at 01:32, and the first outbound is scheduled for 03:39. Add in about 20-30 minutes to get the trains into the yard, and this leaves about an hour and a half for maintenance to get done. The system is roughly 20 miles long according to Wikipedia, double that to account for the length of catenary, and that seems like a lot of ground to cover in such a short period of time, even if they were to work 5 nights a week!

  6. Please make sure there are in fact 3-car trains, because this wasn’t the case the 3 times I took the Gold Line mid-day last week.

  7. Being an outsider (New York City), I’m trying to figure this out about the ongoing Gold Line maintenance situation: How is it that the Gold Line, having only been in operation for twelve years (the Pasadena segment; the Eastside segment only beginning in 2009), has had to undergo significant maintenance work because of the overhead wires while the Blue and Green Lines, starting in 1990 and 1995 respectively, not having needed any major maintenance issues? I know the Blue Line is currently undergoing major rehab work around its stations and tracks, but nothing that Gold Line passengers have had to experience in recent weeks, especially during the late a.m. rush hours and middays. Why couldn’t Gold Line work take place during the weekends, shutting part or all of the line if needed like what Metro has been doing with the Blue and Green Lines? Thanks

  8. Also, when the Blue and Green lines are out of operation, Metro schedules a bus bridge.

    If we are running gold line trains every half an hour, I’m sure a bus option would be popular.

    Currently the gold line operates adjacent to several buses, but to go from end to end would require a lot of transfers.

  9. Who made the decision to do maintenance during prime hours of the day when people are trying to get to work. This is the second time I started early and still got to work late because of this situation. Also, why did they not add another car to the train. There were people who couldn’t get on board at the Heritage Square stop because the train was packed. This is just embarrassingly poor planning. We live in the second largest city in the US and we have to wait for 20 minutes to get to work during morning rush hour? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. That’s what my $100/month is going towards. Maybe they should fire the entire staff of the gold line and hire some more experienced people from a real urban area like New York to make the Gold Line run more efficiently. Unbelievable.

    • Hi Vee;

      Complaints similar to this have certainly been forward to appropriate staff and they are working on a schedule adjustment for the work. More soon.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  10. I for one and very thankful for the Gold Line. I find it to be wonderfully clean and gets me to DTLA much faster than my car during rush hour. Maintenance after 12-15 years seems normal to me… You take your car to the shop every six months and it probably has way less miles on it than the trains. The Go Metro app has a live tracking of the trains that I can confirm accurately predicted the arrival of my train this morning. There were three cars running and I got to work perfectly on time with a little bit of foresight.

    I have waited for trains all across this country and abroad because of maintenance…it’s just a part of life. I’m glad I even get a train to ride in the first place!

  11. More than a decade of stagnant wages has not slowed worker production(economists say).
    as for the picture…Libertarian Koch family at work would have titled better. Keep those trains runnin Jose! Bloggers depend on it!

  12. Screw taxes and government. what good have they dine recently? Fares go up, service still sucks, and cuts to bus services and they call for more taxes. Forget it, I’m not buying into the liberals and Democrats anymore. Obama didn’t do jack, the last thing I want is anothet Clinton or Bush, I’m voting for Ted Cruz next year.

    If government can’t do their job, it’s time for the private sector to enter the ring. Perhaps competition is just what we need to get things going here.