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LA Metro starts turnback project, seeks public input on Sepulveda corridor

A rendering of the Division 20 yard portal widening project and turnback facility.
Photo – Source: Metro


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announced its contractors yesterday began early work on a project designed to make it easier for Red and Purple line trains to turn around at LA Union Station.

The project at the Division 20 rail yard calls for widening the heavy rail tunnel portal, building a turnback facility, and expanding and reconfiguring rail storage tracks.

Many trains on the lines switch tracks before entering Union Station, causing some to operate more slowly while entering or exiting the station. The project will allow switching to occur after riders board or exit trains, increasing service times, Metro officials said, adding that the work also will boost subway system capacity, safety and reliability.
Metro contractors began demolishing a cold storage facility at the site; later, they will demolish the Viertel central division facility.

Currently, the Red and Purple lines handle more than 140,000 passengers per day. Ridership is expected to grow by 49,000 following the completion of the Purple Line extension to the future Westwood/VA Hospital Station, Metro officials said.

Meanwhile, the agency will hold three community meetings later this month and in early February to present refined concepts for the Sepulveda transit corridor project.

The agency is conducting a feasibility study to evaluate a wide range of high-capacity transit alternatives between the San Fernando Valley and LA's Westside region. More than 400,000 commuters travel through the area every day, Metro officials said.

To conclude in fall, the study is divided into two areas: A Valley-Westside segment and a Westside-LA International Airport (LAX) segment. Metro first presented an array of rail, alignment and station location concepts for the Valley-Westside segment in June 2018. The agency now will present more developed concepts at the meetings for the San Fernando Valley-Westside connection and initial concepts for the Westside-LAX connection.

The more than $5 billion project largely will be funded by Measure M, the state's transportation sales tax that was approved in 2016.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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