Work on junction of Blue and Expo lines completed; regular service restored

Photos by Stephen Tu/Metro.

Photos by Stephen Tu/Metro.

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Work was completed Sunday on rebuilding a key part of the junction of the Blue and Expo lines at Washington and Flower in downtown Los Angeles. Regular service on both lines between downtown L.A. and Long Beach and Culver City, respectively, has resumed.

In the bottom photo, a worker on Sunday afternoon performs ultrasonic testing of welding to ensure there are no imperfections in the rails. Test trains rolled across the junction Sunday afternoon and evening with good results.

Thank you for your patience this weekend with the bus shuttles between 7th/Metro and Grand (Blue Line) and 23rd Street (Expo Line). For more about the work that wasperformed, here’s a Source post from Friday.

 

Photos from Saturday night construction work on the Blue Line-Expo Line junction

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Here are a pair of photos of work on the Blue Line-Expo Line junction on Saturday night. In the first photo, crews cutting a section of the rail to realign and in the second photo crews are working to secure newly aligned rails with heat activated epoxy. Work is going well — test trains are expected to run over the junction late this afternoon.

The work is the reason that the Blue Line is not running this weekend between 7th/Metro Center and the Grand station and the Expo Line is not running between 7th/Metro Center and the 23rd Street station. Bus shuttles are replacing trains on both lines.

For more about the work being performed, here’s a Source post from Friday. The service alert for the Blue and Expo lines is after the jump.

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Photos of track work underway this weekend at junction of Blue and Expo lines

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Photos by Stephen Tu/Metro.

Photos by Stephen Tu/Metro.

The photos above, taken early Saturday afternoon, show the replaced diamond frog at the junction of the Blue Line and Expo Line tracks at Washington and Flower in downtown L.A. Metro officials said Saturday that work is proceeding according to schedule.

The work is the reason that the Blue Line is not running this weekend between 7th/Metro Center and the Grand station and the Expo Line is not running between 7th/Metro Center and the 23rd Street station. Bus shuttles are replacing trains on both lines.

For more about the work being performed, here’s a Source post from Friday. The service alert for the Blue and Expo lines is after the jump.

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Work crews to perform track work at rail junction at Washington/Flower in downtown L.A. this weekend

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Work crews on Friday night are set to begin making repairs to the rail junction at Washington and Flower in downtown Los Angeles. The work will require all trains to be replaced with shuttle buses for Expo Line and Blue Line riders traveling between 7th/Metro Center, Pico, 23rd Street and Grand Stations over the entire weekend (the service alert is posted after the jump). Normal train service on both lines in this area is scheduled to resume at the opening of service on Monday morning, Feb. 18.

Exposition Construction Authority crews will be adjusting the track gauge to improve the movement of Blue Line trains turning from Flower to Washington. When completed, the work is expected to correct excessive wear on some train parts and improve the overall maintainability of the track components at this location.

Up to this point, the condition has required frequent monitoring and inspections until a permanent solution could be designed and implemented. At no time has safety been compromised. Likewise, after the work this weekend, monitoring will continue and trains will continue to travel through the junction at  reduced speeds until Metro, the California Public Utilities Commission and the Expo Line Construction Authority are certain the track adjustments have corrected the problem.

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Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Dec. 19 — NYC subway fare increase, Big Blue Bus getting TAP

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

TAP coming to the Big Blue Bus (Santa Monica Lookout) 

Very good news obviously as the BBB is a major carrier with buses running between major attractions — i.e. downtown Santa Monica, UCLA, Century City and downtown L.A., to name a few. The city of Santa Monica is also working on getting new bus shelters and a real-time bus arrival app.

Fix for flawed light rail junction is outlined (L.A. Times) 

A consultant has offered several proposed solutions to permanently fixing an issue with the track at the junction of the Blue Line and Expo Line that was causing excess wear on train wheels. The most practical solution is reducing the width in the rails by a half-inch in one part of the junction.

New York MTA votes to raise cost of single rides, monthly passes (New York Times) 

The Board voted to increase the cost of a single ride (transfer included) from $2.25 to $2.50 and the cost of a monthly pass from $104 to $112 — in 2010, the monthly pass was raised from $89 to $104. By comparison, a single ride on the Los Angeles Metro is $1.50 (transfer not included) and a monthly pass is $75. As this Bloomberg article notes, Hurricane Sandy in October delivered the worst damage to the New York subway in its 108-year history and the New York MTA may borrow up to $4.8 billion for repairs and infrastructure upgrades.

California gas and diesel demand down in August (California Board of Equalization)

The dip was slight — 1.1 percent for gasoline and 2.1 percent for diesel. As for the overall trend with gasoline, here’s an interesting graph showing the ‘trend’ is all over the place:

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USC would gain control of taxpayer-owned parking lots at Exposition Park (L.A. Times) 

The deal is part of a lease package between USC and the state, which owns the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the home to Trojans football. The school may also share some profits from the parking. Of course, if you don’t want to get stuck in horrible, horrible game-day traffic, there’s always the Expo Line and parking near many Metro Rail stations is free or cheap.

Transportation headlines, Thursday, Nov. 29

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

A streetcar at Eagle Rock and Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock in 1955. Photo by Alan Weeks, via Metro Transportation Library & Archive.

Blue, Expo Line delays reflect ongoing problems at rail junction (L.A. Times)

Tuesday night’s major delays on the Blue and Expo Lines were a sign that work is still needed to improve the Washington/Flower junction of the two lines, says this blog post.

Rail plan stirs distrust among black Angelenos (New York Times) 

The article revisits the controversy over the Leimert Park station for the Crenshaw/LAX Line. Many African-Americans want the station funded no matter what, whereas the Metro Board decided earlier this year to build the station only if a contractor can do it within the project’s budget of nearly $1.8 billion. Bids from contractors to build the project are due soon.

Public transportation etiquitte for citizens of Los Angeles (Thought Catalog) 

A short list of suggestions for transit riders, including the stand-to-your-right rule for the escalator.

U.S. motorists on pace to spend record sum on gasoline (L.A. Times) 

The average price of a gallon never reached its all-time high of $4.114 in 2008, but persistantly high prices in 2012 saw Americans cough up $482 million at the pumps.

Shuster won’t rule out raising gas taxes (Business Week) 

New House Transportation Committee Chair Bill Shuster says that he understands new sources of revenue are needed to pay for federal spending on roads and transit and that options looked at include raising the federal gas tax (last raised in 1993), a vehicle miles tax and tolls. See above story to understand why any of those are seen by politically difficult by politicians who believe getting reelected > good public policy.

 

Metro statement on letter from state PUC regarding track at Expo Line-Blue Line junction

Metro CEO Art Leahy and Expo Line Construction Authority CEO Rick Thorpe issued a joint statement Monday regarding a letter recently received from the California Public Utilities Commission requesting a replacement to a piece of track work at the Metro Expo/Blue Line junction.

Both Leahy and Thorpe also talked with the media regarding the next steps that will include better defining exactly what the CPUC wants and how both agencies can work together to develop a plan of action and implementation. Below is the joint statement issued today:

Metro and the Expo Construction Authority have received from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) a directive to replace a piece of track work at the Metro Expo and Blue Line junction and finish the implementation of the automatic train protection. Our two agencies will work closely to develop and implement a plan that satisfies the concerns of the CPUC.

Our first step is to correct a defect in a small portion of the track commonly called the “frog” as it relates to the junction where the new Expo Line meets the Metro Blue Line at Washington and Flower near downtown Los Angeles. This was completed last Friday.

Separately, we will focus on ensuring the automatic train protection system is operating consistent with the requirements of the CPUC.

We want to assure the public that Metro and the Expo Construction Authority have been monitoring these issues for some time, and at no time was safety ever compromised. Trains have made over 100,000 trips through this junction area traveling less than 10 miles per hour. Daily inspections will continue while we resolve this issue with the CPUC.

Metro and the Expo Construction Authority will ensure the work is performed to the highest standard and will accept nothing less.