Testing of the recently completed tracks of the Gold Line Foothill Extension light rail line from Pasadena to Azusa have been completed with success this week, with trains tested at speeds of up to 55 mph and adjustments made so that they clear all station platforms along the route, including Arcadia. (videos below… courtesy of Gold Line – photos at right courtesy of San Gabriel Valley Tribune)
All stations and grade-level road crossing along the route are expected to be complete by September 2015, including the angled crossing at the intersection of First Avenue at Santa Clara Street in Arcadia.
Meanwhile, despite reports that the initiation of train service may be delayed until January 2017 due to Metro’s delay in ordering enough cars to run full service on both the Foothill Extension and the Expo Line from Culver City, Habib Balian, CEO of Foothill Gold Line (a separate agency from Metro contracted to do construction work), said at the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Forum on Dec. 4 that the worst-case scenario for a start date would be June or July of 2016, with a more likely start date in March 2016. That would mean a delay of six-to-ten months from the completion of construction and testing until the trains are built, delivered, tested, and ready for full service to begin.
— By Scott Hettrick
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“The 11.5-mile Foothill Gold Line from Pasadena to Azusa is now more than 80% complete. As you look along the project corridor, it is clear that we are nearing the end of construction. All 28 miles of light rail track are now installed; all 14 at-grade crossings are complete; and the project’s 24 bridge structures are also finished. Last month, the final traction power substation (TPSS) was installed, and now all ten substations are being prepared for service. These substations convert the electricity provided by the local utility company into the type needed to power the Overhead Catenary System, which then delivers power to the trains. Each TPSS is designed specifically for its position along the light rail system and is located a little more than a mile apart from one another.
An especially historic milestone was achieved when train testing began on the line on Monday, Dec. 8, as a light rail vehicle from Metro’s fleet entered into the Foothill Gold Line project jurisdiction for the first time. 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. The testing took place over two weeks within Segment 3 of the project area (which includes parts of Monrovia, Duarte and Irwindale). This is the first of many months of testing ahead; however, it is an exciting and significant milestone for the project, which continues to be on time and on budget for completion in just ten months.