Celebrating a Significant Milestone for the Crenshaw/LAX Line

Metro trains line up at the new Southwestern Yard. Photo by Dave Franco / Board of Supervisors

Celebrating significant progress toward the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) joined federal, state and local elected officials and community leaders to mark the completion of the Southwestern Yard, designed and constructed to attain LEED Silver Certification with many “green” features. These features include: pollution reducing construction processes, easy access to public transportation for workers, treatment of storm water runoff and the use of low-emitting paints, sealants, coatings and materials. There is also energy-saving lighting and air conditioning.

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas speaks at the ribbon cutting. Photo by Dave Franco / Board of Supervisors

“We are well on our way to connecting our public transit system to one of the world’s busiest airports,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Mark Ridley-Thomas. “This gleaming new rail yard is part of the effort to get the Crenshaw/LAX Line up and running, and offering passengers a convenient, not to mention state-of-the-art, way to reach the airport.”

The $172-million rail maintenance facility that will serve the future Crenshaw/LAX Line and Metro Green Line was designed and built by Hensel Phelps Herzog (HPH) under contract with Metro. Design work began in June 2015, construction in May 2016 and work was completed in January 2019 with the project on time and on budget.

Metro’s Southwestern Yard, the Airport Metro Connector/96th Street Station, the Automated People Mover and the Aviation/Century Station will become the gateway to LAX for travelers and will provide better and equitable access to employment centers in this area.

Light rail vehicles will be maintained and inspected at the 115,000-square-foot facility where other work will be done including body repairs, painting, storage and cleaning and washing. In addition, the facility will house general administration and support service staff, miscellaneous maintenance shops and equipment housing and storage. The rail yard will have the capacity to store 70 light rail vehicles and will have about 200 employees.

“The Southwestern Yard facility is a much-needed asset for Metro’s rail operations team and will be used to bring quality and reliable service to this region using advanced technologies,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “Both the Crenshaw/LAX and Green lines will benefit from this facility, which will also help Metro deliver great service and an enhanced customer experience.”

The Southwestern Yard is part of the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, the 8.5-mile light rail line that will meet with the Expo Line and connect with the Green Line near the Aviation/LAX Station. When the Crenshaw/LAX line opens in 2020 it will offer the communities of Crenshaw, Inglewood, Westchester and LAX a modern transit option that offers easy access to the rest of the Metro Rail system.

In 2020, Metro is expected to begin major construction on the Airport Metro Connector/96th Street Transit Station, which will be next to the new rail yard. The station will be the transfer point between local transit — including the Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line — and Los Angeles International Airport’s future Automated People Mover (APM) that will whisk riders to the airport terminals. The station and people mover are forecast to be complete in 2023.