Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Los Angeles County, CA

Foothill Gold Line Light Rail Extension

Extending Metro Gold Line

The Foothill Gold Line light rail transit (LRT) project in Los Angeles County is the second of three planned segments of the Metro Gold Line light rail system. The second segment, from Pasadena to Azusa, will extend light rail service 11.5 miles and include six new stations. Since the first segment began operations on July 26, 2003, ridership on the line has consistently increased month over month. Today, the Gold Line serves nearly 1.2 million boardings each month along the 13.7 miles between Los Angeles and Pasadena—people traveling to work, school, museums, entertainment centers, shopping areas, and more. The second phase, currently under construction, will connect the Sierra Madre Villa Station in Pasadena east through five additional cities along the Foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, adding six new passenger stations to the following locations:

Foothill Gold Line from Pasadena to Azusa route and passenger station locations

  • Arcadia
  • Monrovia
  • Duarte
  • Irwindale
  • Azusa Downtown
  • APU/Citrus College

Building this LRT system provides an efficient, alternate mode of transportation for millions of residents, workers, and visitors to this area of Los Angeles County each day. It will improve commute times, traffic congestion, and reduce pollution by connecting important employment centers, dozens of universities and colleges, hospitals and research institutions, as well as several regional destinations that attract tens of thousands of visitors to the growing network of rail lines connecting all areas of the county. In a joint venture with Kiewit—known as the Foothill Transit Constructors—Parsons is providing all architectural and engineering services as well as construction support services for the second phase.

Parallel to I-210, the Foothill Gold Line will run along Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad right-of-way that was purchased by Metro for the project in the early 1990s. The full project includes:

  • Six passenger stations and associated parking
  • A 24-acre, full-service maintenance and operations campus
  • 11.5 miles of double mainline track with freight service on a dedicated third track through the eastern portion

Parsons is also responsible for the related structures, systems, and facilities such as new bridges, retaining walls, sound walls, improvements to existing bridge structures and drainage systems, traction power elements, about 14 at-grade crossings with gate protection, an overhead contact system for the traction electrification system, an LRT control/signaling system, a freight signals system, and communications systems.

Supporting Expansion, Operations, and Maintenance

The Gold Line Operations Campus in Monrovia—a 24-acre, full-service maintenance and operations facility—is a major component of this phase, designed to accommodate up to 200 employees over several shifts that will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The campus will support Metro’s growing fleet of rail cars and its expansion throughout the foothill communities of the San Gabriel Valley by providing offices and training facilities for operations and maintenance staff as well as a full-service maintenance facility to inspect, service, and maintain up to 84 light rail vehicles, including heavy repairs, blow-down, wheel truing, body repairs, painting, storage, cleaning, and washing. A public area will allow visitors to sit and watch train activity at the campus.

Arsenic and asbestos waste in TDG-compliant cubic-meter bags

Transit plaza at Arcadia station

Delivering a Sustainable Solution on Time and Within Budget

The Gold Line Operations Campus is being designed and constructed to U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Gold standards, and it will become one of the first facilities of its kind in the United States to achieve this status. To do so, this project employs sustainable components such as smart irrigation systems, LED (light-emitting diode) lighting, recycled and recyclable building materials, solar-powered controllers, and a comprehensive construction waste mitigation program. The main shop building was designed to achieve 35% more water efficiency and 32.5% more optimized energy performance than a typical building of its kind. A 178.5-kilowatt solar panel array, a large-scale stormwater collection and filtration system, and other water and energy conservation features have also been built into the facility.

The operations campus combines architecture and urban design aesthetics with an innovative approach that improves maintenance workflows, railway operations, and dispatch procedures. As the architect of record for the campus, the design team developed a layout that reinforces functionality and organization through simple, yet strong, architectural language. The designers integrated the traditional aesthetics of railroad yards—concrete masonry unit blocks, cast-in-place concrete walls, and corrugated metal panels—with a contemporary sensibility to create a harmonious appearance.

Facilities design components were conceived in a comprehensive building information model (BIM) environment. This approach identifies and eliminates thousands of potential conflicts, depicts very complex building design, lets reviewers provide more meaningful feedback to the design team, and enhances design quality. Shared models that use design data in a three-dimensional format facilitate comprehensive coordination, which reduces construction complications and physical conflicts and accelerates the construction schedule.

Beginning of LRT extension along I-210 in Pasadena

Efficient Design and Performance

Parsons plans to turn over the maintenance and operations campus 3 months ahead of schedule, and we are on track to complete the six-station Pasadena-to-Azusa extension on time and on budget in late September. Before completion, we will design and perform a comprehensive safety and security certification process and submit all documentation to Metro for final approval.

Parsons has been working on the Metro Gold Line since 2000. Our team has extensive design-build experience, with the knowledge and expertise essential to a successful design-build team. We solve problems and provide solutions while remaining sensitive to customer and partner needs. To deliver cost-effective and innovative solutions for each project’s individual complexities, we apply the latest design and construction technologies. Parsons continues to build a legacy of connecting communities by delivering safe and efficient transportation all over the world.