The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) in the US has opened a $1bn 18.5km extension to the Gold Line light rail line.
The first of a fleet of 21 P3010 light rail vehicles (LRVs) supplied by Kinkisharyo International started revenue service on the new Metro Gold Line extension, which serves Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte / City of Hope, Irwindale, Azusa and APU / Citrus College.
Metro noted the new cars were built under a contract that was given the notice to proceed in August 2012.
Kinkisharyo International president Teiji Tani said: "We have worked extremely hard to deliver Metro’s LRVs on time and with the highest possible quality.
"The people of Los Angeles county will enjoy reliable operation of these great cars for many years to come."
The LRVs, which are claimed to be some of the most advanced in the US, can operate on all six of Metro’s light rail lines.
Metro CEO Phillip Washington said: "The on time and high-quality delivery of these rail vehicles are an outstanding example of a true partnership between Metro and Kinkisharyo.
"We appreciated the extraordinary lengths to which Kinkisharyo has gone to ensure the success of this opening."
The fully Buy America-compliant rail cars, manufactured and assembled at Kinkisharyo’s new plant in Palmdale, California, with components from the US and Japan, form part of a long-term contract between the two parties to supply 235 cars.
Apart from the Metro Gold Line, the LRVs will be put into revenue service when the final phase of the Expo Line opens on 20 May.
The Expo Line will be the first rail transit line to the far west side of Los Angeles since Pacific Electric streetcars stopped running to Santa Monica in 1953.
Valued at $1.5bn, the Phase II extension is expected to provide an alternative to the congested Santa Monica Freeway.
Phase II completes the 15-mile Expo Line between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica, where the final station will be close to the beach, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Place, Third Street Promenade and Tongva Park.
Image: Kinkisharyo’s new P3010 light rail vehicle started revenue service on Metro’s Gold Line. Photo: courtesy of Kinkisharyo.