Service Alert: Major morning delays on the Gold Line due to continuing repairs

Metro crews working on repairing the Gold Line on Thursday morning. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Metro crews working on repairing the Gold Line on Thursday morning. Photos by Steve Hymon/Metro.

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Unfortunately, major delays continue on the Metro Gold Line due to damage to the overhead power supply system that occurred Wednesday morning between South Pasadena and Highland Park stations. Commuters are advised to plan ahead and allow for extra time if traveling on the Gold Line, or use alternate routes. Park and ride commuters, please consider Metrolink or driving today.

Trains will be running every 15 minutes, but may hold temporarily along the line in order to avoid congestion caused as trains share one track through the problem area. Please be advised, all trains in both directions will board on the Pasadena-bound track at Highland Park Station. Nearly all Gold Line trains running this morning will be three-car trains, which means customers can use the entire platform when boarding.

For those commuting from the Highland Park area, alternative bus options include Metro Bus 81 and 83. Both bus lines travel through Highland Park to Downtown L.A. See more alternate bus lines for the Gold Line here.

Metro would again like to apologize for the inconvenience and thank everyone for their patience as we work to make repairs as fast as possible. For those who need delay verification because of this morning’s Gold Line delays, please call 213.922.6235 or fax 213.922.6988.

Service Alert: Gold Line delays today due to overhead power issue

UPDATE 7 P.M.: The technicians repairing the downed wire on the Metro Gold Line have confirmed that their work will extend through this evening. Consequently, trains will continue to run every 15-20 minutes with temporary holding as trains approach the Pasadena/Highland Park area.

Metro will provide updates on the status of Gold Line repairs and service levels as they become available, and thanks all Gold Line customers for their patience today.

UPDATE 5 P.M. Unfortunately, delays continue on the Metro Gold Line due to damage to the overhead power supply system that occurred this morning between South Pasadena and Highland Park Station. Trains are currently arriving every 15 minutes, but may hold temporarily along the line in order to avoid congestion caused as trains share one track through the problem area.

Please be advised, all trains, in both directions, board on the Pasadena-bound track at Highland Park Station. Additionally, nearly all Gold Line trains running at this time are three-car trains, which means customers can use the entire platform when boarding.

At this time there is no firm estimated time of repair, meaning delays may last through this evening’s rush hour. Metro would again like to apologize for the inconvenience to Gold Line customers, as we work to make repairs as fast as possible.

UPDATE, 2 P.M.: Gold Line continues to run limited service between South Pasadena and Highland Park. Trains are running every 20 minutes in each direction in the area. Metro will start using three-car trains to accommodate afternoon/evening commuters. Bus shuttles have been cancelled.

UPDATE, Noon: The Gold Line has resumed limited service between South Pasadena and Highland Park. Expect significant delays as trains must share the northbound track between South Pasadena and Southwest Museum station, with trains running every 20 to 25 minutes in each direction in the area. Bus shuttles used earlier this morning are now on standby.

Please be advised that trains are not completely following the regular timetable today as repairs are underway. Expect delays, especially between Union Station and Pasadena. As we get closer to the afternoon rush hour, I’ll update this post again. 

Gold Line service was disrupted this morning between South Pasadena Station and Highland Park Station due to a sagging power line above the tracks, as seen in the above photos. About 1,000 feet of wire was damaged in the area around the Pasadena Avenue and Monterey Road rail crossing. Repairs are underway and are expected to take several hours to complete — crews are trying to complete the work before the evening rush hour.

The Monterey/Pasadena crossing is closed due to low wires. Police are on scene to help guide vehicle traffic.

The issue began about 8:20 a.m. One train was stranded between South Pasadena and Highland Park stations and about 300 passengers were evacuated and placed on another southbound train at approximately 9:30 a.m.

For frequent updates, please follow us on Twitter or check the home page of metro.net.

Update, 3:42 p.m.: trip planner at metro.net restored and ticket machines accepting credit cards again

UPDATE, 3:42 P.M.: Earlier problems detailed below appear to have been resolved. Thank you for your patience and sorry for any inconvenience!

Due to an internet issue at Metro headquarters, credit cards are not currently working at ticket machines at Metro Rail stations and other locations where the ticket machines are located. Please use cash until credit card access is restored!

Also the trip planner at metro.net is not currently working. Please use Google Transit for your planning needs.

Metro is working to fix both issues. Thank you for your patience!

 

Patsaouras Plaza closed April 11 to 14 for landscaping renovations

Patsaouras Transit Plaza will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians from 9 p.m. Friday, April 11, through 4 a.m. Monday, April 14, for landscaping renovations. Work being done will address water damage to the plaza and structures underneath and replace waterproofing, landscaping, electrical and irrigation systems.

No vehicles or pedestrians will be able to enter the plaza while work is being done. Buses that normally enter the plaza will stop at Cesar Chavez/Alameda to both board and drop off customers.

Flyaway and Megabus.com will utilize the Amtrak bus pick-up/drop-off location on the west side of Union Station during the plaza closure.

Follow Metro on Twitter @metrolosangeles or @metroLAalerts to stay up-to-date on transit news and service advisories. To see what other improvements are taking place around Union Station, check out this previous post.

Service Advisory: Blue Line to run every 40 min between DTLA-Willowbrook tonight

We wish we could say you read that wrong, Blue Line customers…

Unfortunately, due to essential track maintenance, Blue Line will run every 40 minutes between 7th Street/Metro Center and Willowbrook Station tonight after 8 p.m. Trains will serve the remainder of the Blue Line, between Willowbrook and Long Beach, every 20 minutes after 8 p.m. This means every other northbound train will turn around at Willowbrook Station, and its destination sign will either display “Willowbrook” or “Imperial.” Customers should expect all trains continuing to 7th Street/Metro Center to arrive on the Downtown L.A.-bound track between Vernon and Willowbrook stations. Expo Line will be unaffected by the track work, and will follow a regular Friday evening schedule, departing every 10 minutes.

Why the exceptionally long wait for Blue Line trains between DTLA and Willowbrook? It has to do with the location of the required maintenance. Typically, when work is being done on one track, trains will use switch points–or crossovers–to access the opposite track and navigate around work crews. Friday night’s maintenance is unique because it is actually being performed on one of these switch points, meaning trains traveling in both directions must take turns sharing a significantly larger segment of track than they would during routine maintenance.

For Blue Line departure times from 7th Street/Metro Center and Downtown Long Beach Station, please refer to Metro’s Service Advisories page. Please note these times may be subject to slight work-related delays.

If you arrive at 7th Street/Metro Center or Willowbrook with 40 minutes until the next train, consider using the Metro Silver and Green Lines as a travel alternative. Additional buses will run on the Silver Line after 9 p.m., Friday night, increasing the level of service to every 20 minutes (as opposed to the usual 40). Green Line will follow a regular Friday evening schedule, with trains departing every 20 minutes.

Metro customer service agents at 7th Street/Metro Center and Willowbrook Station will be providing single-use TAP cards that customers can use to take both the Silver and the Green Line for the price of a one-way Blue Line fare ($1.50). Customers using these temporary cards should TAP when entering the Green Line, and show them to their bus operator when boarding the Silver Line. Metro customer service agents will be on hand at 7th/Metro, Harbor Freeway (Green/Silver Line), and Willowbrook (Blue/Green Line) to assist riders from 8 p.m. to close of service. Please note, these temporary TAP cards will only function this Friday evening, and are only for travel between 7th Street/Metro Center and Willowbrook Station.

Full southbound 405 closure between Santa Monica Boulevard and National Boulevard in West L.A. planned nights of March 17 – 22

Here is the press release from Metro:

The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project contractor plans to fully close the southbound I-405 between Santa Monica Boulevard and National Boulevard in West Los Angeles on the following dates and times to facilitate the installation of a full-span freeway overhead sign and to conduct other roadway construction activities at the freeway median:

  • From midnight to 5 a.m. on the nights of:
    • Monday, March 17, to Thursday, March 20
    • Sunday, March 23
    • From midnight to 6 a.m. on the nights of:
      • Friday, March 21 and Saturday, March 22

Other Closures:

  • Lanes will begin to close at 10 p.m.
  • Ramps will begin to close at 7 p.m.
  • Southbound Santa Monica on-ramp
  • Southbound Sunset on-ramps
  • Southbound Wilshire on-ramps
  • Southbound I-405 to eastbound I-10 connector
  • Southbound I-405 to westbound I-10 connector

Detour: From the southbound I-405, exit at Santa Monica Boulevard, turn left to eastbound Santa Monica Boulevard, turn right to southbound Sepulveda Boulevard, turn right to westbound National Boulevard, and turn left on to the southbound I-405 on-ramp on National Boulevard.

What to expect:

No damage to Metro in this morning’s 4.4-magnitude earthquake; all Metro Rail lines running

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The 4.4-magnitude earthquake’s struck at 6:25 a.m. and had an epicenter near Westwood, according to the above preliminary data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Metro officials say that no damage has been reported to the system. All Metro Rail lines are resuming normal rush hour operations with some slight residual delays.

The agency’s tweets from this morning:

There are no reports of injuries or damage from law enforcement. The CHP says that area roads are clear.

Here is an earlier Source post that explains how Metro deals with earthquakes and goes about inspecting tracks for Metro Rail. Excerpt:

When a quake is thought to be strong enough to cause damage, rail control center staff will radio the train operators and tell them what to do. Orders can vary from line to line, depending upon where the quake is strongest. If a weak quake is centered in the San Fernando Valley, for example, trains in Long Beach may not be affected.

If the quake is deemed potentially damaging, operators may be told to stop where they are and begin sweeping the track, which means that they proceed at about 15 mph to the next station or to the point where the train ahead of them stopped and began its sweep. (In that way, every inch of the track can be examined.) While the operators are proceeding they carefully watch the track looking for damage. Everyone reports back to rail control, which determines if the line or lines can reopen. Decisions are based on the common sense of humans, rather than seismic machines.

Should a significant event occur, the entire rail system would be shut down and not reopen until all lines have been thoroughly checked and determined to be safe. The term “significant” does not refer to Richter scale strength but to a variety of factors including strength and location of the quake and the judgment of rail control staff.

Should operators feel an earthquake (not that obvious in a moving train), they must immediately stop where they are and then proceed slowly to the next station. Or they may be given specific instructions from the rail control center, which generally will tell them to begin sweeping.

 

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And here is another Source post on how subways are designed to withstand quakes, including the above chart. Excerpt:

There is no specific magnitude that subways are designed to universally withstand. The strength and flexibility the subway is designed for depends on the characteristics of earthquake faults in the area and their proximity to the structure being designed. In other words, the main question engineers ask is this: how strong is the ground shaking likely to be at the tunnels and stations?

The forecasted level of ground shaking at a particular location is garnered from seismic hazard maps published by the United States Geological Survey.  Building designers and engineers use these same maps to design their projects.

Obviously, Southern California sits in the midst of well-known earthquake country (here is a list of notable earthquakes in California in the past 200 years; the largest was a 7.9-magnitude quake near Fort Tejon in 1857).  Metro’s design criteria requires that its facilities are designed to ensure both life safety and the ability to be repaired after larger earthquakes – the ones that are predicted to occur every 2500 years. At the same time, Metro’s facilities are designed to ensure continuous operation in smaller earthquakes that have a probability of recurring every 150 years.