Gold Line repairs finished, normal service resumes

UPDATE, 7 A.M. MONDAY: Repairs were completed overnight and testing was completed. Normal service today on the Gold Line.

UPDATE, 8 P.M. SUNDAY: Work continues to repair the damaged overhead wires in Pasadena west of Allen Station. On Monday morning, please give yourself extra time as trains will be running every 10 to 15 minutes instead of their usual every eight minutes. Trains will be sharing one track at restricted speeds between Lake and Sierra Madre Villa stations. All stations will be served. Expect trains to be crowded. Thank you again for your patience — we know the last week has been very difficult for Gold Line riders.

In the San Gabriel Valley, here are some alternate east-west bus routes:

Between Northeast LA and Downtown LA

From Highland Park, Southwest Museum and Heritage Square Stations to Downtown LA

  •  Metro Local 81
    • Board on southbound Figueroa St
  •  Metro Local 83
    • Board on southbound Monte Vista St (Highland Park Station), southbound Marmion Way (Southwest Museum Station), southbound Pasadena Av (Heritage Square Station)

From Downtown LA to Southwest Museum, Heritage Square, Highland Park Stations

UPDATE, 10 A.M. SUNDAY: Work continues to repair the damaged overhead wires west of Allen Station. At this time, trains are running every approximately every 30 to 35 minutes today and are continuing to share the East LA-bound track between Del Mar and Sierra Madre Villa stations. We will provide updates later on what to expect for the Monday morning rush hour as the repair work may continue Monday.

UPDATE, 5:30 P.M. SATURDAY: Work continues to repair the overhead wires west of Allen Station. Trains are running every 20 to 25 minutes and are sharing the East LA-bound track between Del Mar and Sierra Madre Villa. This will continue through the end of service tonight.

UPDATE, 8:30 A.M. SATURDAY: Metro workers overnight completed repairs on one track, so rail service is now restored between Lake, Allen and Sierra Madre Villa stations. But trains are single-tracking through the area and riders should expect delays up to 15 minutes on Saturday as the work continues on the overhead wires that deliver power to trains.

***

We are well aware that it has already been a frustrating week for Gold Line riders due to overhead wire and power issues on the tracks in eastern Pasadena near Allen Station. Unfortunately, those problems recurred early Friday afternoon in Pasadena and service will be impacted for Friday afternoon and evening service. Both tracks are currently closed between Lake, Allen and Sierra Madre Villa.

Buses are currently replacing train service between Lake, Allen and Sierra Madre Villa stations. One set of trains is running between Atlantic and Lake. Another set of trains is running between Sierra Madre Villa and APU/Citrus. Trains will be running about every 20 minutes. Please allow extra time for your commute.

We don’t have an estimated time yet for repairs. The best way to get service alerts is to follow our service alert Twitter stream and main Twitter stream. We will also update the blog over the weekend.

Metro thanks you for your patience. We know this is a hassle and we appreciate your patronage.

In the San Gabriel Valley, here are some alternate east-west bus routes:

Between Northeast LA and Downtown LA

From Highland Park, Southwest Museum and Heritage Square Stations to Downtown LA

  •  Metro Local 81
    • Board on southbound Figueroa St
  •  Metro Local 83
    • Board on southbound Monte Vista St (Highland Park Station), southbound Marmion Way (Southwest Museum Station), southbound Pasadena Av (Heritage Square Station)

From Downtown LA to Southwest Museum, Heritage Square, Highland Park Stations

 

18 replies

  1. Y’all need to investigate why power failures and line breakages plague this line– and the oldest parts of the line aren’t even 20 years old.

  2. Metro needs to explain, to the pasengers and to the public, why this particular part of a raill has more electrical problems than ANY other part of the system. We help pay your bills, thru taxes, and we demand accountability!

  3. What failed? The overhead catenary? Did the wire fall down? Did it break? Did the mounting structures break? Did something hit the wire, or did it spontaneously fall down?

    I think your thousands of daily riders deserve this much basic information. After five days of problems, it seems like some details and information are being kept from the public.

    • I would agree totally! This is tipacal of NETRO to give the public as little information as possible. I hope this attitude changes, REAL SOON.

    • Yes, the overhead wires are damaged on a section of track west of Allen Station. I do not have the specifics on exactly what broke. And, yes, the damaged wires are in the same general area where there were issues for most of the week — when work needed to be done to repair the weight pole, cable and other components of the overhead wires.

      We know that it has been a very difficult week for Gold Line riders and we appreciate everyone’s patronage and patience.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  4. First of all, I agree this part of the Gold Line seems to be held together with bubble gum and masking tape. Has anyone considered whether, instead of all these expansion projects, maybe resources ought to be invested in making the existing system durable enough not to break every time someone sneezes? Secondly, Metro seems to have a very lackadaisical attitude about taking any real responsibility. For one thing, so-called “emergency repairs” taking the better part of a week gives the impression that they aren’t considered all that much of an emergency. For another, Metro’s statements seem reactive, passive, and fatalistic, as if each failure comes as a complete surprise – “Gee whiz, it broke! Isn’t it terrible when bad things happen?” I have NEVER seen any kind of assurance from Metro to the effect of, “It broke, and here’s what we’re doing in an effort to prevent it from breaking again.” It’s as if Metro is just trying to paper over known chronic problems with a stack of pre-printed labels that say “Metro apologizes,” as if that phrase fixes everything. It doesn’t.

    • I agree with you completely. Metro needs to take some REAL RESPONSIBILITY and find out why this section of the Gold Line keeps breaking down. We don’t see any other areas of the Gold line breaking down as often as this area.
      Metro needs to be working “around the clock” to complete these repairs and to insure that this area doesn’t continue to break down.
      Again, we ask “Why does this area have so many breakdowns?”

  5. 9/16/2019

    Steve,

    I’m a Pasadena resident and I use the Gold Line a lot.

    Here’s an idea.

    If the Gold Line Train is going to be really crowded this week due to repairs, why not just have a dozen buses supplement the train during rush hours? Commuters, take you choice. Metro has done it before…

    About the track failures, maybe it’s because Metro didn’t build it. Worst case is Metro is operating a rail line that is difficult to repair. That said, when the line first opened up, there was only enough electricity in the overhead power lines to operate 9 cars each way between Los Angeles Union Station and Sierra Madre Villa Station…

    John Donlin

    • Hi John;

      First, sorry about any hassles due to the Gold Line issues of the past week. The good news is the second problem was fixed before the Monday morning rush hour although I wish we could have announced that Sunday evening instead of Monday morning — the issue being we didn’t want to make a promise we couldn’t keep.

      I think your idea for extra bus service is a good one. The big challenge is finding the extra buses to provide that service as well as the extra bus operators. We are doing that on the Blue Line closures, but those are extended closures we planned in advance.

      Again, thanks for riding and reading,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  6. I think Metro should compensate us back with free rides on the gold line for a week due to the last week incidents since you took almost a week to get it done which is completely a joke. A week of free rider on gold line sounds reasonable.

  7. Running 30-35 minute service on the section of the Gold Line that was not shut down was unacceptable, especially considering bus service on lines like the 30 and 68 were cut because they compete with the Gold Line. Eastside riders get screwed even though that portion of the line has none of the issues of the Pasadena section. There should have been no worse than 15 minute service on the portion between Del Mar and Atlantic, the trains can turn back.

  8. This entire affair is a shameful and disgraceful effort on the part of Metro. Since the initial interruption on the morning of the 9th, there has been a completely inadequate level of information. Talk of waving fares is a little fantastical, but our real demands are rather straightforward and simple:

    -Complete transparency about the initiating incident with full details (what system failed, the nature of the failure, larger events that were related, number of people initially involved or injured). This includes technical information, directly from the field repair crews, not a tweet from someone afraid to leave the office shrugging “we don’t know.”
    -If a time estimate for repairs is unavailable, clearly and honestly state why. Also, repeatedly make it clear that full service will not be restored on a timescale of days or weeks; do not tease riders with empty or false promises of “maybe later today”.
    -When emergency repairs require something other than a full suspension of service, provide more information than merely an estimated delay time for a trip. (Our experiences last week told us to regard repeated statements of “every 20 minutes” as fraudulent.) Include in such announcements any portions where trains will be “holding” in place, along with how many trains per-hour per-direction are running.
    -Take a closer look at the information being fed to Nextbus (which Metro tells us to reference). A laughable number of trains were not in the system, nor were the platform countdown clocks any help.
    -Undertake closer co-ordination with other transit providers (ARTS, Foothill Transit, MetroLink, etc.) to assist passengers, this in addition to MORE rail-replacement buses.
    -We had to wait a week to get any information about what happened on the 9th, and even that was a pathetic joke and an insult. Plus, service was AGAIN halted that same day with NO INFORMATION available.

    We’re not some whiny, self-entitled crew. We are your passengers. For years, Metro has promoted itself as the better alternative to private cars: better for the environment, better for the city/county, better for the individual worker. When we build our daily lives around the services of Metro, it represents more than some philosophical choice or feel-good slacktivism. We are taking real risks and cannot afford to simply wake up and *hope* that today the trains will be working again.

  9. On the post for the initial announcement I asked about the exact problem is (what is broken), and what is the root cause. If it is a vehicle hitting the overhead wires, maybe install better notices and a protective bar before the wires ( 11foot8.com anyone?) or fix the 210 center divider already. If it was deliberate theft, vandalism, or sabotage, what will be done to prevent. If it is a “heat related failure”, what engineering solutions will be put in place to deal with the ~120 degree temps that we get on occasion. Where I work we have to plan for weather extremes in the 100 year range.

    Treat us like the tax paying people that have lives that have been adapted to using Metro. If I sold my car and rely on Metro, this lack of data would have me furious.

    Some of us that read the forum have degrees (and/or experience) in areas that relate to Metro’s work. Give us some data. Let us get involved. I gave feedback about the Public Address system for the Red Line at LAUSD (based upon my experience in the field and discussions with someone that teaches audio engineering). It is still the same system that has significant design flaws. As vast improvement can be achieved by 1 or 2 people in less than a work shift. I have also talked about lessening the din in the trains on the Expo and Blue lines as they exit the tunnel in DTLA. This would save the hearing of many people (the noise is in the frequency range that causes the most damage to people’s hearing), which includes the Metro employees.

  10. There’s a billion things I can say but instead I’ll focus on, and repeat 1 single word, completely capitalized in hopes that the messages gets received (99.999999999% it won’t).

    COMMUNICATION COMMUNICATION COMMUNICATION!!!!!!!

    You guys have a serious problem. How do you expect to survive as anything without this critical trait? A week is unacceptable. “Details weren’t provided.” – Steve I understand you are just the messenger here, but please tell your bosses that having you wait an ENITRE week to finally provide some sort of info is ridiculous at best.

    There was absolutely no reason why we couldn’t be told what happened sooner and why Metro cannot stick to a strictly emergency repair schedule. I understand this was in a middle of a freeway which brought its challenges (don’t build anything like this ever again BTW).

    You guys have a lot of work to do. Don’t want/need an apology (Red and Expo Lines had their own delays on top of all this), because actions speak louder than words. Get to it Metro.

    • Hi Dave and everyone else — and my apologies for a slow response to this comment and others. A few things:

      •I don’t want to use “I’m just the messenger” as a cop out. I’m part of the communications food chain here and have been for a long time now. If multiple people are unhappy with communications involving a service delay, I have to take some of the responsibility for that — and I do. We’re collecting the comments and seeing what we can do better in the future.

      •As for the reason for both delays, I don’t have much more info to offer. In both cases, trains encountered problems with the overhead catenary system (OCS) that resulted in damage to the OCS. And in both cases (both were near Allen station but over different tracks), significant repairs were then needed to the wires and the parts that support them. Work proceeded around the clock but took some time to complete and do the testing. The issue may be discussed in the Metro Board’s Operations Committee on Thursday morning.

      •There have been some other recent issues impacting Gold Line service in the San Gabriel Valley but they were of a different nature. On Aug. 21, signal equipment near Duarte was vandalized, causing delays. On Aug. 15, a car was involved in an accident on the 210 and ended up on the tracks near Sierra Madre Villa, also causing delays (we have a project in the planning phase to raiser the barriers on the 210). On July 31 a person on the Gold Line tracks/right-of-way in Azusa was struck and killed by a train, also causing delays. On July 13, there was also vandalism to signal equipment near Duarte that required a bus bridge. As regular readers know, there have been several vehicular accidents on the 210 in the past few years that have resulted to damage to the OCS system that must be repaired.

      •One issue that we grappled with social media-wise was informing riders of the correct frequencies between trains. With trains having to get around the repair site, that was challenging as the frequencies were not as consistent as they would be during normal service. It was a fluid situation. Example: this past Sunday night it looked like trains would be single-tracking during the Monday a.m. commute — and that’s what we communicated to riders. But repairs and successful testing wrapped up overnight and it wasn’t until Monday a.m. that we told riders normal service was resuming.

      I do understand your frustration. I ride, too. For a lot of reasons, many of us want public transit to work in the L.A. area. It often does. And when it doesn’t, it’s disappointing especially when communications is an issue. Please feel free to leave any additional comments about specific things we can do better communications-wise. Or email me at hymons@metro.net. Thank you for taking the time to ride and write,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source