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Software Upgrade Should Speed Gold Line's Freeway Crossing

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, November 16, 2009, at 03:57PM
Gold Line Eastside Extension Eric Richardson [Flickr]

A P2000 rounds the elevated curve to Alameda at it travels to the Gold Line Eastside Extension's Little Tokyo / Arts District station.

The Gold Line Eastside Extension opened to much fanfare and big crowds on Sunday, but those looking to use the line for day-to-day commuting may have been a bit puzzled at why it takes so long for trains to travel the elevated track between Little Tokyo / Arts District and Union Station.

Currently, trains operate between the two stations at just 10mph, taking approximately four minutes to travel the half-mile span.

That speed is determined by signals running through the tracks, and operators are unable to exceed what the car picks up.

That same stretch has a second signal telling the cars that they can go 15mph, but it is being ignored right now because only half the cars operating on the line can see it.

On Thursday, Metro's Operations committee is expected to approve a $400,000 contract with GE to update software on 26 cars that were brought over from the Green Line in 2003.

The new code will allow the P2000 cars to pick up the faster signal and should reduce travel time between the two stations to a little under three minutes.

While a minute saved might not sound like much, when it comes to transit every little bit counts.

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