Passenger Trains Are Once Again Rolling Through Santa Monica

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Today, in Santa Monica, Metro began testing Expo Line trains running under their own power, though we will have to wait until next week before we see trains pulling into the 4th Street station, according to officials.

An Expo train moves eastbound across 19th Street. Trains are expected to start testing all the way to 4th Street next week. (Photo by Jason Islas)
An Expo train moves eastbound across 19th Street. Trains are expected to start testing all the way to 4th Street next week. (Photos by Jason Islas)

“Project staff said the eastern portion of the tracks have already undergone testing with a train car pulled by a truck. Those tests verify the integrity of the power system and test clearances,” the Santa Monica Daily Press reports.

According to project officials, a train could be towed all the way to the 4th Street station by next Tuesday. Train testing, under their own power, could be extended to the western terminus later that week if initial testing goes well.

Test train continues eastbound across 19th Street.
Test train continues eastbound across 19th Street.

Earlier this month, an electric passenger train crossed Centinela Blvd., officially entering Santa Monica. It’s the first time this has happened since 1953. The train was towed by a truck as part of initial clearance testing, but now the trains are running under their own power.

The first phase of the Expo line, which runs between Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City, has already been in operation for more than three years.

Phase II continues westward past Cheviot Hills, Westwood Blvd., Bundy and eventually stopping at 4th Street and Colorado in Downtown Santa Monica.

Expo Line Phase II

If all goes as planned, Expo Phase II will open in early 2016, connecting Santa Monica to Downtown Los Angeles by passenger train for the first time in more than half a century.

That being said, now is as good a time as any to remember to keep an eye out for trains, as the city wants to subtly remind us:

Jason Islas
Jason Islashttp://santamonicanext.org
Jason Islas is the editor of Santa Monica Next and the director of the Vote Local Campaign. Before joining Next in May 2014, Jason had covered land use, transit, politics and breaking news for The Lookout, the city’s oldest news website, since February 2011.

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