Wednesday June 21, 2017
“The service provided by the Blue Line to the communities along the 22-miles of rail has been priceless," said Metro Board Chair and City of Duarte Mayor Pro Tem John Fasana. "After more than a quarter of a century of service, the upgrades that we are witnessing today are necessary to keep our old customers and attract new ones. Today we gladly say hello to the new Kinkisharyo rail cars and goodbye to the Nippon-Sharyo rail cars."
Most of the old P865 cars will be dismantled for parts. Some will be used for ceremonial displays and others will be sent to educational institutions for training. The rest will be scrapped.
“By retiring older rail cars, implementing light synchronization, focusing on public safety, and drafting a Blue Line study, Metro is working hard to improve mobility, safety and reliability for its millions of annual riders,” said Metro Board member and Mayor of Long Beach, Dr. Robert Garcia.
The Nippon-Sharyo P865 rail cars have been in service since 1990, when the Blue Line opened between downtown Long Beach and downtown Los Angeles. The Blue Line was the first rail transit line in our region since the demise of the streetcars in the L.A. area in 1963.
“The Blue Line was the very first light rail line built in L.A. County after my father, Kenny Hahn, championed the effort to pass Prop A back in 1980,” said Janice Hahn, a Metro Board member and L.A. County Supervisor. “His vision brought rail service back to Los Angeles County and, for the last three decades, these rail cars have carried passengers from Long Beach to Downtown L.A. These cars have served us well, but it is time to retire them and welcome the next generation of Blue Line cars for the next generation of Metro riders.”
Each of the 67 old rail cars was named after a city or community along or near the Blue Line. The first car carried the number 100 and was named after Long Beach. In February, car 105 with the name of “Bell” — for the city of Bell — was the first to be taken out of service and dismantled for parts.
In July, two more cars will also be retired from service. Four cars a month will then be retired beginning in August.
“After 27 years of service running back and forth thousands of miles between Long Beach and Los Angeles the Blue Line is getting a well-deserved overhaul,” said Metro Deputy CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “The deployment of the new Kinkisharyo cars is part of that effort.”
The state-of-the-art Kinkisharyo trains debuted last year on the Gold Line and then the Expo Line. The Kinkisharyo P3010 cars are manufactured in Japan and then assembled at a Kinkisharyo facility in Palmdale under a contract approved by the Metro Board of Directors in August 2012.
In January 2014, Metro announced a $1.2 billion overhaul of the Blue Line. The multiyear program aimed to bolster reliability, comfort and safety by replacing electrical equipment, overhead wires, tracks and rail cars. Stations have also been refurbished.
The Blue Line remains the busiest of Metro’s four light rail lines and has averaged about 70,000 weekday boardings in 2017. Metro’s Blue Line has 22 stations between downtown Long Beach and the 7th Street/Metro Center in downtown Los Angeles, where it connects with the Red/Purple Line subway and the Expo Line. The Metro Blue Line serves Los Angeles Trade Technical College, the famed Watts Towers and connects to the Metro Green Line at the Willowbrook station.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. Created in 1993, Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that transports about 1.3 million passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines. The agency also oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects and leads transportation planning and programming for Los Angeles County.
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Metro-085 (Blue Line P865-P3010)