Test train rolls out for preview of new LA Metro Expo light rail line

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The new Metro Expo light rail line between Los Angeles and Culver City won’t be up and running until later this year, but some observers marvel at what they’ve seen so far. Impressed spectators include elected officials from many cities who pushed to get the trains on track.

The test train hadn’t moved that far when it rolled into the Western Avenue Station at two mph. It sat idle, just down the street. Still, for Los Angeles City Councilman Herb Wesson, who backed the project, it was a joy to see the first train move in half a century on a rail right-of-way in this south LA neighborhood.

“Those who’ve lived here for a long time, these tracks were never used," Wesson said. "So it’s gonna be a change in the way that they live. So we had to be very conscious of that and try to put in place safety precautions, try to keep the noise down because we want to be very sensitive to the residents in and around the area.”

Wesson joined other elected officials and leaders from LA, Culver City and Santa Monica. Eventually, passengers will travel the Expo light rail line to all three of those cities by way of Exposition Boulevard.

For now, Metro officials are busy testing the train cars. Some activists have expressed concern that those cars will roll at street level in busy areas where kids walk to and from school. To help prepare people for the Expo Line’s debut, Metro officials are discussing safety precautions during visits to schools, churches and businesses.

Those that drive along the route will see construction crews in action - digging up the ground, repaving streets and overhauling traffic lights.