The first light rail car to run the full length of the six-mile Los Angeles Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension alignment left Union Station on Jan.27, heading east toward the line’s terminus at Atlantic Boulevard and Pomona Street.The Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension, which will feature eight stations (two underground), will span six miles from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles via the Arts District/Little Tokyo and Boyle Heights to Atlantic/Pomona Boulevards in East Los Angeles.
The trip was part of a clearance test in which the train car was towed, rather than self-powered, at approximately 5 mph so that it could easily stop on short notice. The test was done to verify proper clearance between the rail car and surrounding equipment and facilities, including 1.8-mile-long twin tunnels under Boyle Heights. On platforms, clearance was carefully measured where doors will open at eight stations — two of them underground — along the route. Towing was done by a small truck on rails.
The Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension has posted an exemplary safety record: more than 3.7 million construction working hours without a single lost-time injury — a record unparalleled by any major public works project in the country. The project is also under budget and projected for early completion.
The last streetcar ran on First Street just after midnight on March 31, 1963.