Trainspotting in Arcadia – First Tests of Light Rail Between Pasadena and Azusa Start

By Terry Miller

The $4 million AnsaldoBreda P2250 weighing over 100,000 pounds, was outfitted with specialized gear to test clearances, wheel/rail interface, rail switches, and the Overhead Catenary System. – Photo by Terry Miller

The $4 million AnsaldoBreda P2250 weighing over 100,000 pounds, was outfitted with specialized gear to test clearances, wheel/rail interface, rail switches, and the Overhead Catenary System. – Photo by Terry Miller

On Monday morning, Metro conducted the first of many clearance tests involving an actual Metro Gold Line train from Sierra Madre Villa to Azusa.
The light rail project recently held a track completion ceremony in Azusa and this, now, is the next necessary step to propel the Gold Line towards Azusa next year.
Scores of people assembled at the corner of First and Santa Clara starting around 9AM to witness a historic moment in Arcadia’s history, the first time a train has been seen in Arcadia for decades.
Due to several delays, the train didn’t actually arrive until around 1:30PM.
Metro crews carefully inched the vehicle from Sierra Madre Villa to check for clearance at various spots using Styrofoam connected with duct tape to assess the clearance, particularly at station platforms.
According to Doug Tesselor, Metro Chairman, the next 10 months will be devoted to testing the trains, next time under their own power. Monday’s test was unpowered and required the use of a semi-truck to pull the Gold Line train through Arcadia, Monrovia and into Azusa.
The long and lengthy process is highly technical and requires a very large crew of men and women to assure that all stages of the rail line are secure, free of obstacles and most of all safe.
The vehicle, a $4 million AnsaldoBreda P2250 weighing over 100,000 pounds, was outfitted with specialized gear to test clearances, wheel/rail interface, rail switches, and the Overhead Catenary System.

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During this two week period in December, the Foothill Gold Line will complete the initial train testing for the light rail project from Pasadena to Azusa. During this period, a single train will be first pulled and then operated on its’ own power within the rail corridor between the cities of Arcadia and Duarte. This initial testing activity will test train clearances along the alignment as well as the Overhead Catenary System which powers the trains.
The Foothill Gold Line is on schedule for construction completion in late-September 2015, at which time the project will be turned over to Metro for pre-revenue service. Metro is the regional transportation agency responsible for operating all light rail and most bus systems in Los Angeles County. Metro will determine when passenger service begins on the Foothill
The train testing will take place weekdays within the two week period through December 19, 2014. On test days, the train will be tested between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
Testing will be conducted in Arcadia, Monrovia and Duarte. Intersection crossings that will be impacted temporarily during the initial clearance tests include: First Ave/Santa Clara St (Arcadia), Mayflower Ave (Monrovia), Magnolia Ave (Monrovia),Myrtle Ave (Monrovia), and California Ave (Monrovia). Intersection crossings that will be impacted more extensively duringthe testing period include: Mountain Ave (Monrovia/Duarte), Buena Vista St (Duarte), and Highland Ave (Duarte).

– Following the first day, additional testing of up to nine days, will take place between California Ave (Monrovia) and
Highland Ave (Duarte) and will result in short-term stoppages of street traffic at the Mountain Ave (Monrovia/Duarte),
Buena Vista St (Duarte) and Highland Ave (Duarte) intersection crossings throughout the day from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily during testing.– Testing will only take place on weekdays; no weekend testing is expected.– The train’s “quacker” horn may be sounded.– Flaggers will assist with traffic management at all intersection crossings, as the train passes.– Pedestrian access via the sidewalks will remain open at all times; however, flaggers will manage pedestrian traffic whenthe train is approaching.
www.foothillgoldline.org
Call the Hotline at (626) 324-7098
Visit our Public Information Office located at 406 E. Huntington Dr., Suite 202, Monrovia, CA

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