Video: Gold Line to Azusa from the operator’s cab

The 11.5-mile extension to Azusa opens on Saturday, March 5. The Gold Line to Pasadena currently ends at Sierra Madre Villa Station. Soon there will be six new stations: Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte/City of Hope, Irwindale, Azusa Downtown and APU/Citrus College, which is also adjacent to the Rosedale development.

Pre-revenue testing and training has been underway along the alignment. The Metro Board of Directors is taking their inaugural ride this morning:

The ride today was aboard the new Kinkisharyo P3010 rail cars. Here’s my colleague Anna Chen’s review:

Best things about the new P3010 rail car is? Seating layout. Gone are the three-in-a-row seats that cut into the legroom of the seats adjacent and force you to make the difficult decision of “stand or squeeze into the middle seat.” All seats are now two-by-two with considerably more leg room (at least, that’s how it feels) and, yes, the seats are wider.

The new seats are 16 inches across — on an airplane this would be misery, but on the train it’s really quite nice. I’m half and half on the reconfiguration of the seats on either side of the operator cab door. On the plus side, you’ll no longer block the door of the cab with your legs. But, you’ll be facing the rest of the train car and probably end up making uncomfortable eye contact with people looking your way as they check the screens above your head.

Speaking of the screens: there are two per car and they are excellent. They clearly show which station the train is at and which stops are remaining on the line.

I’m also a big fan of the phosphorescent exit path floor markings. I’d seen the markings before but didn’t know they were glow in the dark — an added safety measure to help make it easier for people to identify where exits on the train are in the event of darkness. It’s difficult to tell the markings are phosphorescent in the daytime, but not impossible. Amuse yourself as I did by casting your shadow across the lines to see them glow. (I’m easily amused, what can I say.)

Finally, in my initial review I mentioned the extra large decal that marks the designated bicycle/luggage/stroller area. I still love it. I love that it’s big and bold and in your face so you can’t pretend you didn’t notice it. No more blocking doors with your bicycles and oversized bags, people. Use the space provided.

Some pics from the new rail cars:

Finally, here’s the map of the new extension:


This is the first Metro Rail project to open that was funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

Between now and March 5, we’ll post a lot of details about the project and the communities to be served by the Gold Line. There’s also a ton of info already online at the “Rediscover Gold” page on, including details of the events to be held on opening day.

18 replies

  1. I live in Azusa so I’m excited, I love trains and enjoy taking metro rail when possible. And now, I dont have to drive to Sierra Madre Villa station. The only thing is that the Monrovia station is a bit far from the Old Town, it’s not a exactly a short walk. It’s unfortunate because
    it’s a great place to walk around, eat, etc. And they have the open market on Friday nights.

    • Hi there;

      Old Town Monrovia is great. It’s about a mile walk from the station up Myrtle Avenue — you can also get there by walking north on Magnolia and then east on Walnut (slightly longer and the preferred bike route). Metro’s 270 bus and Foothill Transit’s 494 bus can be used. Check the bus schedules for service times and schedules. Hopefully the city will keep working on connecting Old Town to the station.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. How far and walkable will it be from the Irwindale Station to Santa Fe Dam? Curious to see if the Gold Line can be another transit option to the Renaissance Faire this spring.

    • Hi Allen;

      It’s a bit of a walk — a little more than three miles if you entered the recreation area from Arrow Highway. It’s shorter if you can enter from Peckham Road. Does anyone reading this know if that’s an entrance? I’ll definitely look into it before the line opens and scout it out.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • I just drove by there since I was in the area and verified that it looks just like this –

        There is an “authorized vehicles only” sign in front of the gate but there’s no fence and you can easily get around it. Ultimately the DPW bike path from Duarte will be better for people trying to get much further south (when it is completed), but for going through the park or bypassing heavy truck traffic on Irwindale Avenue this is a good option.

        • Hey Calwatch —

          Thanks for posting that. Agree that the Irwindale Ave route is hardly ideal. I’ll ask our bike folks too about this.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

  3. Nice video, and how about a music credit?

    The gold wraparound on the front of the new P3010s looks good and, importantly, makes the otherwise ugly grey cars less stealthy at grade crossings.

    Hopefully the P2550s can be painted to match – who decided that ‘all grey’ was a appropriate LR car color choice?

    • Hi Mike,

      The music credit is near the beginning of the video.

      The new “sunburst” paint scheme will eventually be used on all rail cars.

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  4. I’m looking forward to trying out this new extension. I won’t be needed it often as I’m in LB and mostly do the LB/LA route, but I am out there some time. One thing I’d love to see how well works is to take the Gold line and take the San Gabriel River bike trail to LB. Not really good for exercise, as it’s downhill, but still want to see how nice that would be. Might be a great way for the family and kids to go for a good ride. Looks like alot of the route is real easy and pretty darn safe.

    • The Irwindale Station is near the bike trail — it’s on the other side of the MillerCoors brewery. I’ve been trying to figure out a good and safe route from the station directly to the bike trail without first going to the recreation area at the dam. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • There is the back door into the Santa Fe Dam park at the end of Peckham Road, south of the brewery and First Street, which leads directly to the bike path for people going south. The Peckham gate is normally closed for cars but is not fenced, and it only works when the park is open, since you are not supposed to be there after dark, but it works for people trying to head south. You do have to bike on Irwindale Avenue for a short distance, but no parking is allowed in the curb lane. It doesn’t help those trying to go north, though, without backtracking.

        • Thanks Calwatch! I’ll check it out next time I’m over there.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

      • What Calwatch said. Looking forward to biking from Irwindale Station to the Renaissance Faire when it returns to Santa Fe Dam in April. Huzzah!

        • Note to riders wearing suits of armor: please don’t take up two seats.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source