Although passenger train service will not be available in Arcadia until at least spring of 2016 or possibly much later for a full schedule of service, the train station for the Foothill Gold Line extension on Santa Clara Street at First Avenue will be dedicated this year, on Saturday, August 22.
Construction of the entire 11.5 mile route of the electric light rail line from eastern Pasadena to Azusa is 95% complete and testing of the tracks is more than 50% complete. Public art pieces for each station is also complete, including the weather vane for Arcadia, although the actual birds and peacocks will not be installed on the pole on the platform between the tracks until closer to the dedication.
Final touches at the stations in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa will be undertaken over the summer to install benches, hand/guard rails, security devices and art elements. The parking facilities, including the two-level, 300-space facility in Arcadia, will also be completed this summer.
Testing of the line started last December 2014 and will continue through late-September, at which time the completed project will be turned over to Metro for pre-revenue service.
All work on the Foothill Gold Line by the independent construction authority agency is being finished on-time and on-budget for construction completion in late September 2015.
Metro, which will determine when passenger service will begin, has said they would like to open for passengers in spring 2016.
Habib Balian, CEO of the construction authority agency said at the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Forum on Dec. 4 that the likely start date for the train service would be March 2016, with a worst-case scenario of June or July of 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.
In addition to following traditional protocol of not opening a new line station-by-station or segment-by-segment, but rather waiting until the entire route extension is complete, Metro delayed in ordering enough train cars to open and run full service on both the Foothill Extension and the Expo Line from Culver City, both of which are scheduled to be complete and ready to open about the same time.
— By Scott Hettrick