Expo Line testing to begin Monday morning

The news release, which follows, was just posted this evening by Metro. We’ll have photos tomorrow on The Source.

Public urged to watch for trains and be safe

Metro Monday Will Begin Train Testing On New Expo Light Rail Line

On Monday morning, Metro will begin testing a train car along a portion of the new Expo light rail line that is nearing completion of construction between downtown Los Angeles and Culver City and which will run primarily along Exposition Boulevard. The initial testing will be from the 23rd Street Station near the University of Southern California (USC). An empty Metro Rail train car will be pulled by a ‘high rail’ vehicle. The procedure will include clearance and overhead testing.

Metro expects to energize the rail line’s electrical power system later this month and then begin full train testing for the next few months. Trains will operate intermittently during this period. No official date for the start of passenger service has been announced pending construction completion and testing, but a target date has been set for Nov. 15, 2011 for most of the 8.6 mile alignment. Completion to Culver City may not occur until early next year.

The Expo light rail line, funded by Metro, is being built by the Expo Construction Authority but will be owned and operated by Metro. A second phase to Santa Monica should break ground soon and be completed by 2015.

Monday’s testing will be done at slow speeds as the train moves along the tracks. Metro safety ambassadors will be following the train along with flaggers to alert the public and answer questions.

Metro Community Relations staff for months has been working on a campaign to inform residents along the alignment. Presentations have been made and safety information sent to schools, religious, recreational and senior centers, as well as business and community organizations. Metro urges the public to be extra alert when crossing the tracks now that train testing has begun.

The Expo alignment was first used for railroad service in 1875 but the last Pacific Electric Railway passenger service ended in 1953. Limited freight service operated along Exposition Boulevard until about 1989.

For more information, go to metro.net/projects/exposition.

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