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  #5941  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2022, 2:50 AM
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Foothill Gold Line extension is halfway finished

The extension adds 9 miles of track and four new stops

Steven Sharp
Urbanize Los Angeles
June 20, 2022

The 9.1-mile extension of the L Line from its current terminus in Azusa to the City of Pomona is now halfway finished, the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority announced at a news conference last week.

The extension, which began heavy construction in July 2020, will add four new stations to the L Line - including stops in Glendora, San Dimas, and La Verne, as well as the future eastern terminus next to the Pomona North Metrolink station.

“It is a great achievement for our team, our contractor and the entire County of Los Angeles to have been able to keep this important regional infrastructure project on schedule during the first years of the Pandemic,” said Claremont Mayor Pro Tem Ed Reece, who is also the Foothill Gold Line Board Chairman. “We are now just a few short years away from delivering light rail to more of the San Gabriel Valley and one step closer to completing our agency mission of connecting Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire by light rail.”

Ongoing work for the project includes the relocation of existing freight tracks within the right-of-way and reconstruction of at-grade crossings - both of which are more than 90 percent complete. Work is nearly 40 percent finished on the 19 new and renovated bridges along the project corridor, while installation of tracks is just over 40 percent complete.

The extension was the first Measure M-funded light rail line to break ground, and is also being financed with state money and leftover Measure R funds from the Pasadena-to-Azusa extension.

Construction is on pace for completion in early 2025, after which point the corridor will be turned over to Metro.

While the under-construction extension may be proceeding ahead of schedule, it represents a pared back plan relative to the original plan for the Foothill extension, which would pushed service on the L Line an additional three miles east past the San Bernardino County line. Work on two additional stops in Claremont and Montclair has been delayed, as additional funding to complete construction was not secured by an October 2021 deadline.



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  #5942  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2022, 2:59 AM
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Their update videos never miss an opportunity to mention the signature citrus design for the concrete walls. They sure are proud of it.
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  #5943  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2022, 3:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quixote View Post
From Bechtel's technical proposal:

I'm not sure how to interpret this. Are they saying the station boxes would be designed to allow for platform extensions beyond 280 feet since they state that the station boxes will be built to accommodate 4-car trains from the start? Or does "meet growing demand" mean expanding to 4-cars from the initial 3-car operations? It's unclear, but I'm inclined to believe the latter.
From this image, it looks like starting with 3 car trains and expanding to 4. Bechtel's proposed staggered single bore station design is great though as it can allow for an almost unlimited length of train, only constrained by operations... Shoot, they could do 10 car trains if they wanted with this design. All they have to do is dress the rest of the tunnel to the expanded length. And if (/when ) they choose Linear Induction Propelled train sets, this will also significantly cut down on tunnel and elevated viaduct costs by reducing the diameter of tunnel and weight/mass of aerial structures as compared to what we currently have.






Last edited by hughfb3; Jun 21, 2022 at 3:43 AM.
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  #5944  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2022, 7:48 AM
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I believe a 100% underground alternative will be chosen, which narrows it down to Alternatives 5 and 6. I'm pulling for Alternative 6 because I prefer the Bundy terminus (and future extension down Centinela), the use of existing technology and preserving the opportunity for future interlining, and I think 4-car trains at 2.5-minute frequencies might not be sufficient (or at least it would result in a lot of trains being sardine cans). This is a rare instance in which I hope Metro's infamous lack of creativity and imagination win out. And since Alternative 5 includes one extra station, Alternative 6 could actually be the cheaper option of the two.
I'm torn about this, because while I agree that Bundy is the superior terminus and four car trains might not have enough capacity I would love to see a new company come in and institute innovative construction techniques and utilize fully automated heavy rail. Hopefully Bechtel's proposal can be improved.
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  #5945  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2022, 6:23 PM
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Are there any other cities in America with heavy rail running headways under 2.5 minutes? I’d have to imagine that if so, it’s only for a very brief time during rush hour.

At what point would Bechtel be splitting hairs?
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  #5946  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2022, 7:27 PM
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Are there any other cities in America with heavy rail running headways under 2.5 minutes? I’d have to imagine that if so, it’s only for a very brief time during rush hour.
CTA's red line runs 30tph but yes, only at peak.
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  #5947  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2022, 11:18 PM
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Before the pandemic, BART ran 24 trains an hour (at peak and in the peak direction) through the interlined stations in downtown San Francisco. While that works out to a train every 2.5 minutes in the rush direction in those stations, the trains were eventually headed to different termini.
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  #5948  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2022, 1:03 AM
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I wonder what the headways are in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Vancouver runs a fully automated system that is more than capable of running sub 2.5 minute headways. I would be interested to know if they do so.
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  #5949  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2022, 4:26 PM
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Vancouver's SkyTrain typically runs 2 or 3 minute headways on the Expo Line. I've heard it can run at 75 second headways.

Source: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Expo_Line_(SkyTrain)
Operating headway between trains during peak times is maintained at 108 seconds. SkyTrain can run at 75 second headways, which will allow for more trains to operate at peak times.[6]
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  #5950  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2022, 6:12 PM
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Th Yonge (yellow) line of Toronto subway current maxes out at 26tph but work is underway to install ATC in order increase that to 34tph as the line desperately needs more capacity.
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  #5951  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2022, 3:22 PM
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I'd be okay with Alternative 4 because in addition to the automation and potential for 90-second headways, it establishes a precedent for elevated heavy rail that we need for Vermont. Alternative 5 is just a fully underground version of Alternative 4. If they were proposing a capacity for 6-car trains, then A5 would be easier to swallow.

All heavy rail alternatives have an underground alignment south of Ventura Blvd., so you don't have to worry about an el along Sepulveda (for phase 1).
I mean, Vermont is great for elevated. It should be the other way around - Vermont, if done well, will be an excellent example for the rest of LA. South of Gage, there is plenty of room to build spacious station entrances and fare control at ground level, and create welcoming parklet/plaza spaces.

Sepulveda, no matter how much of a stroad it appears to be, is only 100' wide in most areas which is not wide enough for a major arterial with transit in a landscaped median. Maybe if there were parallel streets or the 405 wasn't so congested, you could do a big road diet... But that would basically turn Sepulveda into a local street, which is disastrous for all the businesses along the street that rely on huge car traffic volumes. I can't see that happening.
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  #5952  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2022, 3:32 PM
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Vermont with its median south of Manchester is just as ideal for trench construction as it is for elevated viaduct which would undoubtedly have a lower lifespan. A trench would also allow for simple and cheap at grade station buildings that woukdnt require the exorbitant costs associated with fully elevated or fully underground facilities. I've long said that trenched alignments are underutilized and have a multitude of benefits with assumed cost savings being top of list. Alignment north of Manchester could be cut and cover.
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  #5953  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2022, 4:05 PM
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Things are looking up...
This is great news but it’s still woefully short of what the Sepulveda line should be. This line is a lynch pin for Los Angeles transit. It’ll be the difference maker between whether or not LA becomes a major mass transit region or if it’s a mode of transit reserved for novelists and the low incomes.

Of all the lines this is the one that no expense can be spared and no luxury past over. Of course knowing Metro they’ll botch it but ideally… first and foremost the whole line should be subway. It should travel maybe even a few miles NORTH of Van Nuys MetroLink. There should be at least 3 stations in the valley. Transitions to LRT ready Orange, Expo, Crenshaw, Purple and the boondoggle ESFV line need fo be SEAMLESS (under 1-2 mins, inside the fare gates etc). And this line should terminate in a subway station directly between SoFi and Intuit - if done right - that station could literally add 300k riders a year minimum.

Last edited by LineDrive; Jun 27, 2022 at 10:53 PM.
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  #5954  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2022, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by hughfb3 View Post
From this image, it looks like starting with 3 car trains and expanding to 4. Bechtel's proposed staggered single bore station design is great though as it can allow for an almost unlimited length of train, only constrained by operations... Shoot, they could do 10 car trains if they wanted with this design. All they have to do is dress the rest of the tunnel to the expanded length. And if (/when ) they choose Linear Induction Propelled train sets, this will also significantly cut down on tunnel and elevated viaduct costs by reducing the diameter of tunnel and weight/mass of aerial structures as compared to what we currently have.
This part is huge if I'm understanding it correctly:

"The cut-and-cover shaft, which can be locally increased in size as desired, houses a portion of both platforms."

And yes, it appears that station platforms could easily be extended because we're not talking about a central platform wholly contained within a single station box. It really is a well-thought-out, imaginative concept.
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  #5955  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2022, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Illithid Dude View Post
I'm torn about this, because while I agree that Bundy is the superior terminus and four car trains might not have enough capacity I would love to see a new company come in and institute innovative construction techniques and utilize fully automated heavy rail. Hopefully Bechtel's proposal can be improved.
For the three heavy rail alternatives, the SMB station would actually be located about the same distance away from the 405. A4/5's SMB station would be located between Bentley and Camden, while A6 would be between Corinth and Purdue. Both stations would serve dense residential neighborhoods. A terminus at Expo/Sepulveda isn't the end of the world either, as there's already a TOD built with the potential for more density. The problem is that odds with be heavily stacked in favor of a Sepulveda alignment for phase 2, which would be a true waste.

Regarding technology/operations, I love wider and longer trains that are traditionally associated with heavy rail, and wouldn't like to see this system classified as a "medium-capacity rapid transit system" on Wikipedia... as vain as that sounds. But I do think there's tremendous value in having automated rail from the get-go, with the potential for 90-second headways. Watch a cab ride video of Vancouver's Skytrain and how the trains zip right into the stations. Driver-operated trains, at least in LA, tend to ease into termini stations... basically adding another 1-2 minutes. And who knows when (or if) the Red and Purple Lines will ever be automated. Fast, frequent, and reliable trains running 20 hours a day (and making sure that they're not shelters for the homeless and mentally ill) are how you win over choice riders.

All in all, Bechtel's proposal would create a great template for future rapid transit expansion, especially since it's looking like we'll never have elevated heavy rail. I would like to know roughly what kind of cost savings we'd be looking at using Bechtel's approach. This corridor will naturally be more expensive, but if this type of system can be built underground in other parts of the metro at an average cost of, say, $400 million per mile, I'm sold.
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Last edited by Quixote; Jun 26, 2022 at 11:00 PM.
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  #5956  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2022, 10:52 PM
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Vancouver's SkyTrain typically runs 2 or 3 minute headways on the Expo Line. I've heard it can run at 75 second headways.

Source: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Expo_Line_(SkyTrain)
Operating headway between trains during peak times is maintained at 108 seconds. SkyTrain can run at 75 second headways, which will allow for more trains to operate at peak times.[6]
Yep. Watch the train pull out of the station at 13:25... 20 seconds later at 13:45 you see another train approaching!

Video Link
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  #5957  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2022, 11:03 PM
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I mean, Vermont is great for elevated. It should be the other way around - Vermont, if done well, will be an excellent example for the rest of LA. South of Gage, there is plenty of room to build spacious station entrances and fare control at ground level, and create welcoming parklet/plaza spaces.
You're preaching to the choir. An el would actually improve the aesthetics of crazy-wide Vermont IMO. But Metro has indicated that elevated HRT isn't an option for Vermont, even though they've built elevated LRT elsewhere and this would follow a dedicated ROW. And the "environmental racism" argument goes out the window because half the segment serving South LA would be underground.

Bottom line is that LA needs an extensive HRT system of at least 150 miles, and that can only be realized only if we can cut down construction costs and get the Feds to provide half the funding. The HRT system we have, although the service has gone downhill with the amount of homeless and mentally ill, is reliable as hell. 17 minutes from Pershing Square to Hollywood/Highland and eventually 25 minutes to Wilshire/Westwood. That can compete with the car even without traffic.
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Last edited by Quixote; Jun 26, 2022 at 11:20 PM.
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  #5958  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2022, 11:46 PM
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After some digging, I found the capital cost for A4:

$10.8 billion for 14 miles --> $771 million per mile / $79,000 per rider*

* Ridership is based on conventional HRT. There's no accounting for more frequent service and potential 24/7 operations. I would hazard to guess that ridership would exceed 10K per mile (closer to 150K per weekday), bringing the cost per rider closer to $70,000. That's still significantly more expensive than NYC's SAS ($23,000 per rider).

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Last edited by Quixote; Jun 27, 2022 at 12:00 AM.
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  #5959  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2022, 1:59 AM
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The technical proposal states "using a smaller vehicle size, which allows us to reduce the internal tunnel diameter to less than 40 feet." But in addition to systems that use Bombardier's Innovia stock (JFK Airport, Vancouver Skytrain, Kuala Lumpur), they also mention projects in Singapore, Sydney, and Montreal. Singapore's rolling stock for its automated lines is even wider than our Bredas, while Sydney and Montreal's are 1/2-inch narrower.

Budgeting for a 15-foot side platform and 3-foot emergency walkway, it would seem to me that 10-foot-wide trains — or at least 9-9.5-foot width — are feasible. Bombardier's Innovia rolling stock seems to be very customizable, with Beijing's Capital Airport Express trains being 10.5 feet wide.
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  #5960  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2022, 2:59 AM
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With each car being approximately 72 feet long, they might as well plan on procuring 75-foot cars to match the length of the Bredas and forthcoming HR4000s. Bombardier Innovias also tend to have a less boxy silhouette, with the curvilinear rooflines offering more clearance within the tunnel.

It's great that some prudence is being shown in planning this project (being mindful of phase 2), but I just hope that they haven't forgotten that this line, although it will be a stand-alone, will still exist as part of a broader network.
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