Gold Line Foothill extension is a three-phase expansion of the Los Angeles light rail transit system’s Metro Gold Line that runs between East Los Angeles and Azusa.

Phase one of the project running between Union Station and Pasadena was completed in 2003, while the Pasadena to Azusa section under phase two was completed in September 2015.

The $1.5bn third phase of the project, which is being developed by Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, runs from Glendora to Montclair spanning 12.3 miles (19.79km).

The ground-breaking ceremony for the third phase was held in December 2017, and operations are expected to begin in 2026.

The light rail extension project aims to reduce traffic congestion and upgrade transport links throughout the country.

Gold Line Foothill extension project details

The project will feature 12.3 miles of track along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe (ATSF) right-of-way. It will share a 100ft-wide rail corridor with freight services throughout the segment and with the Metrolink from Pomona east to Montclair.

The different rail services of the Gold Line will share the same rail corridor, but will not share tracks or stations. The Foothill extension will operate on its own two tracks with one for eastbound and the other for westbound trains.

The extension will also add six stations in the cities of Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont, and Montclair. There will be 23 new or renovated bridges and 28 crossings built across the length of the extension for passenger crossings.

The final segment of the extension will have 11 traction power supply substations located every 1 mile to 1.5 miles within or adjacent to the right-of-way.

Construction on the extension project

Construction work on the Glendora to Montclair extension will be carried out in two phases.

The first phase will involve the relocation of the existing freight and Metrolink systems from their current central position to the southern half. A number of site bridges will be rebuilt and improvisations carried out at 26 level crossings.

“Once the extension is operational, the line will add more than 200 train journeys a day on the corridor.”

Construction on the second phase of the segment will begin after the relocation of freight and Metrolink systems. It will involve building new stations, tracks, parking facilities and all the other elements including communication and safety systems.

Rolling stock details

Light rail trains with a speed of up to 55km/h will operate on the line. The trains will be powered by overhead catenary wires and operate in single or multi-car configurations.

The trains will have an overall seating capacity of up to 200 passengers each.

Financing

The Glendora to Claremont segment of the project is being funded by Los Angeles County through Metro’s Measure M half-cent sales tax revenue of $1.019bn, residual Measure R funds of $96m from the Pasadena to Azusa segment, and $42m from other sources.

The San Bernardino County is providing $40m for the Claremont to Montclair segment.

Gold Line Foothill extension phase three benefits

Phase three of the Foothill Gold Line extension project is expected to generate $2.6bn in economic output and $40m in tax revenue. The construction phase will create more than 7,000 jobs.

Once the extension is operational, the line will add more than 200 train journeys a day on the corridor. A trip from Montclair to downtown Pasadena will take 40 minutes, and from Montclair to Los Angeles will take 75 minutes.