Formerly known as the Red/Purple Line Core Capacity Improvements Project, the Division 20 Portal Widening and Turnback Facility Project aims to accommodate increased service levels on the Metro Red/Purple Lines. To achieve this, Metro is planning facility improvements, including a widening of the heavy rail tunnel south of the US-101 freeway (Portal Widening) and a new turnback facility (Turnback Facility) in the Division 20 rail yard. With these improvements, new tracks and switches will allow for improved service times at Union Station and throughout the Metro Red/Purple Line system.
Presently, the Metro Red and Purple Lines carry over 140,000 passengers each day and ridership is expected to grow by 49,000 when the Metro Purple Line is extended to the Veteran Affairs West Los Angeles Medical Center (as described in the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Metro Purple Line Extension . Many Red/Purple Line trains switch tracks before entering Union Station, which is the reason that some trains operate more slowly coming in and out of the station. This project will allow switching to take place after riders get on or off trains, allowing for faster service times. It will also help to ensure safety and reliability on the system, a sufficient capacity to serve future passengers and a more effective operation of Metro’s expanding subway network.