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My First Trip on the Expo Line 5/12/2012

by Chris Guenzler

From LAUPT and National Train Day 2012, AC Adam and I walked down to the Red Line and we walked to a waiting train to get us to the 7th Street/Metro Center station, where we would board the new Expo Line train.

The Expo Line

This is a 15.2-mile light rail line that runs between Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica. It is one of the seven lines in the Los Angeles Metro Rail system and is operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It was named after Exposition Boulevard, along which it runs for most of its route.

It largely follows the right-of-way of the former Pacific Electric Santa Monica Air Line. Passenger service ended in 1953; freight-only service ended by March 1988. Several Expo Line stations are built in the same location as Air Line stations, although no original station structures have been reused.

We boarded the rear car and Chris Parker and Larry Boerio boarded the car behind us. It was a quick trip to the 7th and Flower station, where we detrained and went upstairs to a waiting Expo Line train where AC and I boarded the first car with Chris and Larry boarding the second car. We left 7th Street/Metro Center station and headed out the same way the Blue Line trains go.

We come out of the tunnel and out into the daylight.

The train's first station is Pico station, the stop for the Staples Center, LA Convention Center and Nokia Theater.

The line runs on the east side of Flower Street.

The line then ran under Interstate 10, the Santa Monica Freeway.

We came to the junction where the Blue Line turns east on Washington Boulevard, while we went straight onto our new mileage on the Expo Line.

The trolley continued to run along Flower Street.

We passed another Expo Line train.

Our next station was 23rd Street, where you can go to LA Trade-Technical College, Mount St. Mary College and the Orthopaedic Hospital.

The train took these curves to run to the west of the Harbor Freeway.

Running along the Harbor Freeway.

Our operator always has to be on the look out for cars cutting in front.

Crossing 30th Street.

Approaching the Jefferson/USC station where you can get to USC, the Galen Center and The Shrine.

Departing Jefferson/USC station.

I love anything with Felix the Cat.

The train then entered the trench/tunnel to get us into the middle of Exposition Boulevard.

In the trench/tunnel, we turned to the west, exiting into the middle of Exposition Boulevard.

We stopped at Expo Park/USC station which is the gateway to USC, California African-American Museum, California Science Center, Exposition Park Rose Garden and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

A Breast Cancer Fundraising Run/Walk was taking place today.

We went by an eastbound Expo Line Train.

The Expo/Vermont station serves Jesse Brewer Jr. Park, Los Angeles Swimming Station and the Natural History Museum.

Exposition Park.

The lineside signal gives us a green.

Still running down the middle of Exposition Boulevard.

The Expo/Western station serves Exposition Park Library/Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center.

Still travelling down the middle of Exposition Boulevard

The Expo/Crenshaw station serves the Lula Washington Dance Theater.

Passing another eastbound Expo train.

The Expo Line is fenced for its whole length.

An Expo Line grade crossing.

A very well-maintained Expo Line.

The not-yet-opened Farmdale station which will serve the future Rancho Cienega Sports Complex and the Vineyard Recreation Center.

Passing a train at the Farmdale station.

You can see that we will climb to our next station.

The Expo/La Brea station serves the Baldwin Hills Branch Library and the Rancho Cienega Sports Complex.

Looking north down La Brea Boulevard.

We dropped down to the ground after the Expo/La Brea station.

Approaching a flashing green.

We crossed over to the other mainline.

We took this track and climbed the grade to our last station.

We came to our last station of the present line at La Cienega/Jefferson, which serves the Ballona Creek Bike Path and Syd Kronenthal Park then exited for a few minutes of fresh air.

Our trolley at La Cienega/Jefferson station.

AC Adam and our trolley.

Future new mileage for me in the future. I then noted the art work in the platform which I will share with you.

You never know what you might see by looking down every once in a while. We all reboarded our train to head back to National Train Day 2012 at LAUPT.

AC Adam and Chris Parker on the return trip. We returned to 7th Street/Metro Center and went down to wait for a train to LAUPT.

We waited for the Red Line Train to arrive.

A few minutes later, the Red Line Train arrived and we boarded for LAUPT. It had been a fantastic trip aboard the new Expo Line. Now back to National Train Day.