Gold Line (Los Angeles Metro)

Metro Gold Line

Los Angeles Metro rapid transit line
Image of Gold Line train.
Two Gold Line trains in Pasadena at Memorial Park, a below-grade station.
System Metro Rail
Operated by LAMetroLogo.svg Metro (LACMTA)
Line number 804
Type light rail
Status in service
Opened July 26, 2003
Daily ridership 42,900 (July 2011) [1]
Website Gold Line
Character Mostly at-grade in private right-of-way, with some street-running, elevated and underground sections.
Termini Sierra Madre Villa
Stations 21
Line length 19.7 mi (31.7 km)
No. of tracks 2, 3 near Mission Station
Track gauge standard: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification 750 V DC overhead catenary
Rolling stock Siemens P2000, AnsaldoBreda P2550
Train length
two or three cars
Yard Division 21 (Chinatown)
Route map
Urban head station
Urban station on track
East L.A. Civic Center
Urban station on track
Unknown BSicon "uAKRZo"
I-710 (CA).svg Interstate 710
Unknown BSicon "uAKRZu"
California 60.svg State Route 60
Urban station on track
Enter urban tunnel
Urban tunnel station on track
Urban tunnel station on track
Mariachi Plaza
Exit urban tunnel
Urban station on track
Unknown BSicon "uBRÜCKEa"
Continuation to left Unknown BSicon "umhKRZ" Continuation to right
Unknown BSicon "uhWSTR"
Los Angeles River
Continuation to left Unknown BSicon "umhKRZ" Continuation to right
Metrolink and Amtrak
Unknown BSicon "uBRÜCKEe"
Unknown BSicon "uexABZld" Unknown BSicon "ueCONTl"
Regional Connector
Urban station on track
Little Tokyo/Arts District
Unknown BSicon "uAKRZo"
US 101 (CA).svg U.S. Route 101
Urban straight track
Union Station Connections:
Urban straight track
El Monte Busway, FlyAway
Unknown BSicon "utCONTg" Urban straight track
Urban End station in tunnel + Hub
Urban station on track + Hub
Head station + Hub
Union Station
Unknown BSicon "uBRÜCKEa" Straight track
Unknown BSicon "uhBHF" Straight track
Unknown BSicon "uhDST" Straight track
Los Angeles River Yard
Unknown BSicon "uhWSTR" Bridge over water
Los Angeles River
Continuation to left Unknown BSicon "umhKRZ" Unknown BSicon "ABZrl" Continuation to right
Metrolink and Amtrak
Unknown BSicon "uAKRZo-ELEV"
I-5 (CA).svg Interstate 5
Unknown BSicon "uhBHF"
Unknown BSicon "uhWSTR"
Arroyo Seco Low Bridge
Unknown BSicon "uAKRZo-ELEV"
California 110.svg State Route 110
Unknown BSicon "uBRÜCKEe"
Urban station on track
Heritage Square
Unknown BSicon "uTUNNEL1"
Figueroa Street
Urban station on track
Southwest Museum
Urban station on track
Highland Park
Unknown BSicon "uBRÜCKEa"
Unknown BSicon "uAKRZo-ELEV"
California 110.svg State Route 110
Unknown BSicon "uWBRÜCKEe"
Arroyo Seco High Bridge
Urban station on track
Unknown BSicon "uAKRZo"
California 110.svg State Route 110
Urban station on track
Urban station on track
Del Mar
Enter urban tunnel
Unknown BSicon "uBHFCC"
Memorial Park
Exit urban tunnel
Unknown BSicon "uSBRÜCKE"
Los Robles Avenue
Unknown BSicon "uSBRÜCKE"
El Molino Avenue
Urban station on track + Unknown BSicon "uSBRÜCKE"
Unknown BSicon "uSBRÜCKE"
Wilson Avenue
Unknown BSicon "uBRÜCKEa" + Urban station on track
Unknown BSicon "uhKBHFxe"
Sierra Madre Villa
Unknown BSicon "uexWBRÜCKEe"
Arcadia Wash
Unknown BSicon "uexBHF"
Arcadia opens 2014
Unknown BSicon "uexWBRÜCKE"
Santa Anita Canyon
Unknown BSicon "uexBHF"
Monrovia opens 2014
Unknown BSicon "uexWBRÜCKE"
Monrovia Canyon
Unknown BSicon "uexBHF"
Duarte opens 2014
Unknown BSicon "uexAKRZu"
I-605 (CA).svg Interstate 605
Unknown BSicon "uexWBRÜCKE"
San Gabriel River
Unknown BSicon "uexBHF"
Irwindale opens 2014
Unknown BSicon "uexAKRZo"
I-210 (CA).svg Interstate 210
Unknown BSicon "uexBHF"
Azusa-Alameda opens 2014
Unknown BSicon "uexKBHFe"
Azusa-Citrus opens 2014

This route map: view · talk · edit

The Gold Line is a light rail running from Pasadena through downtown East Los Angeles, Los Angeles which also serves several tourist attractions, including Little Tokyo, Union Station, Southwest Museum, Chinatown, and the shops of Old Town Pasadena. The line, which is one of five in the Metro Rail system entered service in 2003 is operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).


Service description


Beginning in East Los Angeles, the Gold Line initially runs west toward Downtown Los Angeles. From its southern terminus at Atlantic, the line travels west along Third Street to Indiana Street, where it turns north for two blocks to First Street. From here, the line continues west to Little Tokyo, partly through a tunnel under Boyle Heights with two underground stations. At Alameda Street in Little Tokyo, the line turns north and crosses over the Hollywood Freeway, and stops at Union Station on tracks 1 and 2. At Union Station, riders can connect with the Metro Red and Metro Purple Lines.

From Union Station, the Gold Line proceeds north on elevated rail to Chinatown, and then crosses the Los Angeles River adjacent to the Golden State Freeway (Interstate 5). From here, the route continues north/northeast, serving the hillside communities north of downtown, including Lincoln Heights, Mount Washington, and Highland Park. Through this stretch, the Gold Line operates primarily at grade, except for a short underpass below Figueroa Street.

North of Highland Park, the route crosses over the Pasadena Freeway (Interstate 110). The route continues through South Pasadena and then downtown Pasadena, primarily at-grade. In Old Town Pasadena, the line travels underground for almost half a mile long, passing under Pasadena's main thoroughfare, Colorado Boulevard. (Memorial Park station, just north of Colorado Boulevard, is below grade.) Finally, the Gold Line enters the median of the Foothill Freeway (Interstate 210) and continues east to Sierra Madre Villa station, in Pasadena just west of the Sierra Madre city limit.


Following the extension to East Los Angeles, the line's ridership increased to more than 34,000 daily boardings.[1] Gold Line ridership has been below projections, which has resulted in cuts in service midday and at night. Service previously operated every 15 minutes during the day with limited stop service during rush hour, which was long by Los Angeles standards but is similar to other light rail lines in the United States such as the San Diego Trolley and UTA TRAX. This Express service was eliminated as of December 16, 2007 (see below).


The Gold Line takes 54 minutes [2] to travel its 19.7-mile (31.7 km) length.[3] This means the Gold Line averages 21.9 mph (35 km/h) over its length, making the Gold Line the slowest of all of Metro Rail's lines. In particular, the Gold Line is slow through the Highland Park area, where trains reach speeds of only 20 mph (32 km/h), and through the curves, where trains travel at about 25 mph (40 km/h).



The Gold Line's initial route was formerly the right-of-way of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, where passenger trains like the Southwest Chief and the Desert Wind once operated, until Amtrak service was re-routed along the Southern Transcon to San Bernardino via Fullerton.

A line through Pasadena was proposed in the early 1980s as a part of a more extensive regional urban rail network, however it would not come to fruition until almost two decades later. Initial planning and construction was done by the LACMTA. After the project was halted due to a lack of funding the "Los Angeles Pasadena Blue Line Construction Authority" was established by State legislation to reactivate and complete the then 11% completed project.

The Gold Line was originally planned as a part of the Blue Line. Making that connection as originally planned would require a new "Regional Connector" to connect Metro Center with Union Station. Because this light rail line did not connect to the Blue Line, to avoid confusion the line was given a different color. The Rose Line was a strong contender because of Pasadena's Rose Bowl and Rose Parade. However, because future planned extensions would go beyond Pasadena, the LACMTA board voted to name the line the "Gold Line."


Gold Line Maravilla station under construction in December 2008 with King Taco in the background.

The original Gold Line, between Union Station and Sierra Madre Villa, opened in July 2003.

Between February 13, 2006 and December 16, 2007, the Gold Line was the first in the Metro Rail system to implement both local and express limited stop service during rush hours in both direction calling on at Union Station, Highland Park, Mission, Del Mar, and Sierra Madre Villa, eliminating five minutes of travel time from end-to-end.

Since October 29, 2006 end to end travel time were reduced by five minutes, resulting in 30% less waiting time at stations. Ridership hit an all time high of 21,000 boardings in September 2006.[4]

A noise barrier was constructed along the route in South Pasadena between the Mission and Fillmore stations to address noise complaints from South Pasadena residents between April 2007 and July 2007 during the construction one track out of service.

In December 2007, Express Service was discontinued and (local) trains now run more frequently, at 8 minute intervals. Service was increased to every 6 minutes in June 2011 as a result of increased ridership.[5]

In November 2009, Metro opened the first phase of the Gold Line Eastside Extension. The project extended the Gold Line from Union Station to Atlantic Blvd. near Monterey Park. The extended route now serves Little Tokyo, Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles. The project added eight stations.

Proposed developments

Foothill Extension

Map of the Gold Line, with the Foothill Extension along the top.

Metro and the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority plan to extend the Gold Line beyond Pasadena into the northeastern part of the county. The Gold Line Foothill Extension project will extend the Gold Line through the foothill region to Montclair, California. The Construction Authority is also working to extend the line even further, to Ontario, California.

Eastside Extension Phase 2

Metro is considering a new extension of the Metro Gold Line in the Eastside. This second phase of the Eastside Corridor would extend the Gold Line's southern leg eastward, from its current terminus at Atlantic station to the San Gabriel River.

As of August 2010, Metro has completed the Alternatives Analysis phase. The next step for Metro is to conduct an initial environmental study, leading to publication and approval of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).[6]

The two alignments to be studied in the DEIR are:

  • SR-60 LRT: Mixture of at-grade and aerial running along the Pomona Freeway to South El Monte
  • Washington LRT: Aerial running south on Garfield Avenue and then east on Washington Boulevard to Whittier

Station listing

The following table lists the current stations of the Gold Line, from south to north.

Station Major Connections Date Opened City
Atlantic Metro Rapid: 762 November 15, 2009 East Los Angeles
East L.A. Civic Center November 15, 2009
Maravilla November 15, 2009
Indiana November 15, 2009 Los Angeles
Soto Metro Rapid: 751 November 15, 2009
Mariachi Plaza November 15, 2009
Pico/Aliso November 15, 2009
Little Tokyo/Arts District Metro Rapid: 730 November 15, 2009
Union Station Red Line  Purple Line  Silver Line  El Monte Busway
Metro Rapid: 704, 728, 733, 740, 745, 770
Foothill Transit: Silver Streak
Amtrak  Metrolink
July 26, 2003
Chinatown July 26, 2003
Lincoln/Cypress Metro Rapid: 751 July 26, 2003
Heritage Square July 26, 2003
Southwest Museum July 26, 2003
Highland Park July 26, 2003
Mission July 26, 2003 South Pasadena
Fillmore July 26, 2003 Pasadena
Del Mar Metro Rapid: 762 July 26, 2003
Memorial Park Metro Rapid: 780 July 26, 2003
Lake July 26, 2003
Allen July 26, 2003
Sierra Madre Villa July 26, 2003


A new Breda P2550 train at Highland Park

The Gold Line is operated out of the Division 21 Yard (Los Angeles River Yard) located on Elysian Park Drive overlooking the Los Angeles River. This yard stores the fleet used on the Gold Line. It is also where maintenance is done on the fleet. Trains access this yard via a single track junction near North Broadway. Northbound Trains may enter without difficulty, while soutbound trains must transfer onto a side track then reverse into the yard.

Rolling stock

Gold Line trains are typically two-car trains, except in evenings and weekend mornings when they consist of single cars. On New Year's Day, the Gold Line uses three-car trains for service to the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game. Service operates from approximately 4 a.m. to 1 a.m., with service approximately every 6 minutes during peak hours, 12 minutes middays, 12–15 minutes on weekends, and 20 minutes until the close of service.

Trains are composed of articulated light rail vehicles (LRVs) which are compatible with Metro's light rail systems. As of September 2010, the Gold Line uses two types of LRV: Siemens P2000 LRVs and AnsaldoBreda P2550 LRVs. As of January 2010, the Metro Gold Line has 53 active cars (227-242, 244-250, 301, 302, 704-742).

The Metro Gold Line has approximately 31 AnsaldoBreda P2550 cars (701-750) in use. Currently, cars 704-742 are in service. P2550s have been featured in many television ads by Metro. Metro plans to transfer the Gold Line's Siemens P2000 trains to the Blue Line to transfer some overhauled Nippon Sharyo P850 (100-153) cars to Expo Phase 1 while the Ansaldobreda P2550 cars will replace the Siemens P2000 trains on the Gold Line. Five Ansaldobreda P2550 cars will also be assigned to the Blue Line.

Commemorative cars

On December 21, 2007, Metro introduced cars 233 and 235, which are the special commemorative trains for the 119th Tournament of Roses Parade and the 94th Rose Bowl Game. These are known as the 2008 "Tournament Train." [7]


On October 3, 2007, Metro Gold Line trains began having advertisement banners on the sides of trains, like on the Metro Green Line. On February 13, 2008, Metro removed the banner ads on all Metro Gold Line trains. But in mid-June 2008, banners promoting the Long Range Transportation Plan was added on car 246. On July 14, 2008, banner ads were added on cars 229, 235, 236, 238, 239, 244, 250, and 302.



The following noteworthy incidents have occurred on the Gold Line since opening.

  • August 12, 2004 - A red 2003 Ford Expedition flipped and crashed into the center wall of the Foothill Freeway (Interstate 210) near the Madre Street exit killing 3 and injuring 5 others, including an 8 year old boy who was hurled onto the adjacent Metro Gold Line tracks where his foot was severed by a passing train. No train passengers were hurt. Investigators believe the driver drifted to the right and then swerved to the left to avoid hitting another vehicle.[8]
  • September 11, 2007 - A driver was critically injured and six passengers, including an LA County Deputy Sheriff and the train operator, suffered minor injuries when a pickup truck ran a red light at Avenue 55 and Marmion Way before being hit by a train.[9][10]
  • September 21, 2007 - Six people suffered non-life threatening injuries, including two minor injuries after an SUV broke off the crossing arms and was struck by a northbound Metro Gold Line train (243) at Avenue 50 and Marmion Way in Mt. Washington. The vehicle caught fire and a section of the train was also burnt. It was claimed that the female SUV driver had tried to beat the train. A local resident put out the fire in the car with a garden hose before Los Angeles Firefighters arrived.[11][12][13]
  • October 13, 2007 - Service was suspended for 12 hours at 1:20am after a big rig hit the center divider of the eastbound Foothill Freeway at Sierra Madre Blvd. and went on the Metro Gold Line tracks. During the course of the accident, buses were provided to bypass the accident site.[14][15]
  • August 19, 2007 - Disruptions for five days following a power outage between the Highland Park and Mission Stations; southbound tracks were put out of service and express service were suspended temporarily. Normal service resumed August 24.[citation needed]
  • August 26, 2011 - An altercation between passengers resulted in a non-fatal stabbing during a trip through Pasadena. The train was stopped at the Memorial Park station where the victim was transported to a hospital and the suspect was detained.[16]


  1. ^ a b LACTMA Riderhip Statistics
  2. ^ "Gold Line timetable". 
  3. ^ Facts at a Glance
  4. ^ "Metro Gold Line Trains Now Run Faster, More Frequently". Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2006-11-03. Retrieved 2007-02-10. [dead link]
  5. ^ "More frequent Gold Line and Silver Line service begins soon". The Source. 
  6. ^ Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2
  7. ^ Latest Metro News
  8. ^ Allen, Marshall; Hoffman, Gretchen (August 13, 2004). "3 killed, 5 injured in crash on Foothill Freeway". Pasadena Star News. 
  9. ^ "7 hurt when Gold Line train hits truck at Highland Park crossing - Los Angeles Times".,1,4750756.story?coll=la-headlines-california&ctrack=1&cset=true. [dead link]
  10. ^ Train, truck collide - Pasadena Star-News
  11. ^ Abdollah, Tami; Rabin, Jeffrey L. (September 22, 2007). "6 hurt when Gold Line train hits vehicle". Los Angeles Times.,1,5291086.story?coll=la-headlines-california&ctrack=1&cset=true. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Car Collides With Metro Gold Line Train 9/25/07
  14. ^ Big rig hits Gold Line tracks, causes traffic - Pasadena Star-News
  15. ^
  16. ^ Knoll, Corina. "Gold Line stabbing victim in critical but stable condition". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 

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