Grand opening: New rail yard that will serve Crenshaw/LAX and Green Lines!

Metro and local officials today celebrated the grand opening of the $172-million Southwestern Yard, a rail maintenance facility next to LAX that will serve the future Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line. The rail yard will have the capacity to store 70 light rail vehicles and will have about 200 employees.

The facility was designed and built by Hensel Phelps Herzog (HPH) under contract with Metro. Design work began in June 2015, construction in May 2016 and work was completed in January 2019 with the project on time and on budget. The Crenshaw/LAX Line is scheduled to open in 2020. 

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Light rail vehicles will be maintained and inspected at the 115,000-square-foot facility. Other work to be done in the Southwestern Yard includes body repairs, painting, storage and cleaning and washing. In addition, the facility will house general administration and support service staff, miscellaneous maintenance shops and equipment housing and storage.

The Southwestern Yard was designed and constructed to attain LEED Silver Certification with many green features. These include pollution reducing construction processes, treatment of stormwater runoff and the use of low-emitting paints, sealants, coatings and other materials. There is also energy-saving lighting and air conditioning.

The Southwestern Yard is part of the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the 8.5-mile light rail line that will run between the Expo Line and connect with the Green Line near the Aviation/LAX Station. When the Crenshaw/LAX line opens in 2020 it will offer the communities of Crenshaw, Inglewood, Westchester and LAX a modern transit option that offers easy access to the rest of the Metro Rail system.

In 2020, Metro is expected to begin major construction on the Airport Metro Connector Station, which will be next to the new rail yard. The station will be the transfer point between local transit — including the Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line — and Los Angeles International Airport’s future Automated People Mover (APM) that will transport riders to the airport terminals. The station and people mover are forecast to be complete in 2023.

The Crenshaw/LAX Line is partially funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax measure approved by L.A. County voters in 2008. Please see this post for a new video on construction of the project.

Here are some other photos from today’s event:


8 replies

  1. That’s a lot of light rail vehicles. So the tracks connect already to the Green Line (thanks to the recent Y work)? Or did they get delivered there by truck?

  2. Is still only for the Crenshaw line and does it include space if the line is extended all the way to Hollywood?
    Does it have enough room if the line is through routed to Norwalk as part of the current Green Line?
    Does the existing yard near El Segundo then only handle cars for the stub line to Redondo Beach? Will that yard have enough space when the current Green Line to Redondo Beach extends to Torrance and hopefully to Long Beach some day?

    • Whenever that happens, light rail vehicles will operate from both Division 16 and 22.
      Some of the current P3010 vehicles on the Green Line operates out of Division 16 (what it seems).

      • Hi Chris —

        Please see my reply to Mark.

        Steve Hymon
        Editor, The Source

    • Hi Mark;

      The new yard isn’t large enough to accommodate the Crenshaw Northern Extension (CNE). The upcoming studies of the CNE will look at this issue and the possibilities of expanding the Green Line and/or Southwestern Yards or the possibility of a new yard. As for the Green Line Extension to Norwalk, that is a very distant project (under Measure M it has a 2052 opening date — a few yeqrs behind the CNE unless it is accelerated) but that project is a different animal than CNE — less than three miles and, thus, likely relatively few stations. Bottom line: it’s too early to say on that one what the maintenance yard needs will or will not be. Hope that helps. Excellent question, btw.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source