SANTA MONICA—On Friday, August 7, an Expo Line Light Rail test train will pull into a station in Santa Monica for the first time in 60 years.
In 1901, the Pacific Electric Railway Red Car system began as the brainchild of banker Isaias W. Hellman and railroad executive Henry Huntington. During its time, it grew to become one of the most popular and successful railways in Southern California.
In 1963, the Red Line took its final run after serving and connecting the cities of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties for over five decades. There has not been a train in Santa Monica since.
The revamped test train first made its debut on July 29, but did not arrive on its own steam; it was pulled by a truck.
Construction began in 2012 and is expected to finish in October 2015. The train is an extension of an already existing railway that is planned to include stops in Santa Monica, Pasadena, Long Beach, South Bay, and other points of interest. The completed railway will connect from Downtown Los Angeles to the Westside. This expansion was in response to traffic concerns that has been a major issue in Los Angeles and the surrounding cities. The railway is an attempt to provide a sustainable alternative to driving that could potentially reduce traffic as well.
The Expo Line Light Rail test train is set to run its course from 20th Street to 5th Street along Colorado Avenue. It will start off at 5 mph and with every new test ride it will pick up speed as each check point is met.
While testing out the train, residents should expect some interruptions with the traffic schedule, officials said, but any interruptions are expected to be brief.
The official opening date for the completion of this rail has not been officially been announced, but it is speculated that it will open around March or April 2016.