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As part of a major upgrade of the Metro Blue Line, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) will invest $869 million to purchase new light-rail vehicles and repair and upgrade rail cars now in service, agency officials announced on Wednesday.Nearly $739 million is earmarked to purchase 78 new light-rail vehicles, plus $130 million to repair and upgrade 52 light-rail cars already in service, LACMTA officials said in a press release.The county's oldest light-rail route, the Blue Line is undergoing a $1.2 billion, multi-year overhaul to replace power stations, overhead power lines, track, rail cars and improvements to station platforms. Some of the work has begun, while other projects will be completed over the next six years, LACMTA officials said."In the past seven years, we have spent $260 million improving grade crossings, replacing street lights and upgrading vehicle lights to improve safety," said LACMTA Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy. "We are in the midst of painting and replacing worn parts and fixtures at Blue Line stations. Next, patrons will see brand new trains and some refurbished rail cars."To improve reliability and performance, $82 million will be spent to replace all 20 traction power substations, with 19 already completed. Overhead power lines in downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach are being upgraded at a cost of $13 million. Another $13 million is being spent to replace track in Long Beach that was degraded by moist sea air with completion expected in 2019, LACMTA officials said.