Soledad en masa

A maglev train through South Gate

with 4 comments

Yes, you read right. Last night, I was checking out the Metro 2008 Draft Long Range Transportation Plan (website here, download here [PDF]) and I found something that made me do a double-take. On page 35, there is a graph describing high priority regional projects. One of the current ones is a maglev train connecting Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Ana that would run through South Gate. Yup, through South Gate, directly connecting one of its busiest intersections (Firestone/Atlantic) directly with Downtown L.A. and Santa Ana.

Maglev train through South Gate

Though it is a long-range and currently unfunded project, I want it built BADLY because it would directly join South Gate with Downtown L.A. (no need to take the Blue Line if I don’t want to) and Santa Ana. Also, at the corner of Atlantic and Firestone a shopping center will be built soon, the Gateway and it would serve to bring even more people to the shopping center and without the need to drive.

I created a map of the proposed project all the way to Downtown Santa Ana (the graphic says it will end in Western Santa Ana) based on the alignment presented in the image above. Once in Orange County, I followed the right of way. The right of way used once the maglev heads southeast out of Hollydale is the old Pacific Electric right of way.

I am ecstatic to see the day when I can leave my house in South Gate and go to Downtown L.A. without a bus. Let’s start building many train projects, not only in the county, but in the state. High speed trains, more commuter trains, subways, light rail in dedicated routes, a train to Las Vegas, let’s build it all. With rising gas prices, this is one of the best ways to alleviate the pressure.


Written by soledadenmasa

June 20, 2008 at 2:03 am

4 Responses

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  1. Metrolink is fantastic. I take it here and there to Orange County from Union Station in downtown LA. It is pleasant, comfortable, scenic and costs less than driving and parking.

    I have relatives who have lived in LA since the 1940s (most are dead now). They used to shake their heads when talking about the freeway system and say over and over again what a loss it was when the old red line street car rails were paved over or ripped up.

    P. Keller

    June 20, 2008 at 11:12 am

  2. yay for public transportations.
    my best friend.
    hope it happens.
    i like the new page.


    June 21, 2008 at 2:39 am

  3. Let’s start building many train projects, not only in the county, but in the state. High speed trains, more commuter trains, subways, light rail in dedicated routes, a train to Las Vegas, let’s build it all.

    Two comments. One, it is not a universal good to build more public transportation. Take Amtrak as just one example, the WSJ reports:

    Amtrak has poorly served customers and taxpayers alike and is arguably the nation’s worst-run commercial enterprise. It loses $1 billion a year ($45 per rider) and that doesn’t include some $10 billion in deferred maintenance costs. Every route run by Amtrak loses money, and some are horrendously unprofitable. The long-distance route from Los Angeles to Florida loses $400 for every passenger who comes aboard. It would cost taxpayers less if Congress purchased free discount airline tickets for every traveler….

    Even New Yorks subway system has a hard time making a profit despite the fact that it is located in an area it serves best – an Island, hard to find parking, lots of commerce, etc.

    Of course it would be wonderful if the government could do everything for everybody but given a world of scarce resources we have to pick what is most cost effective. Many times public transportation isn’t it.

    Second, even in the areas where transportation is profitable, you still have to consider the great environmental roadblock that would be placed and the costs involved in overcoming them. You mention a train to Las Vegas…well did you know that that had already been proposed? Whats even better is that it wouldn’t have come out of our taxes…it was to be funded by the private industry and many Casinos had already committed to paying a significant portion of the cost. It would have went from Los Angeles (or was it San Diego? I cant remember) to Las Vegas. But guess what prevented it? Yep, you guessed it, the powerful environmental lobby. Apparently such a train would have damaged the ‘pristine wildlife’ that connects the cities(Thats environmentalism for you: they get to sit on their moral high horses while others pay for their decisions). It’s alot like the ANWR debate.


    July 6, 2008 at 4:58 am

  4. Mr. Hispanic Pundit, you write how our public transit struggles to make a profit. In the current climate that is a valid, if distorted, picture of what is going on.

    The government, pushed by a different combination of powerful lobbies, the automotive/oil lobbies (you can remember them from the demise of the Pacific Electric red cars..) have subsidized the automotive industry, and hence encouraged urban sprawl, by building extensive highway infrastructure and keeping gasoline prices lower than any major country except those who actually export the stuff.

    Do you think that if the rail lines did not have to pay to lay track and maintain it that it might be more profitable? Do you think that if gasoline and automotive purchase taxes completely funded all highway and street construction and maintenance the automobile would still dominate our means of transportation?

    We claim to be a free market economy in which the market decides the winners and losers. That is only sometimes true. In this case it’s not.

    Up until a few tens of years ago rail was the leading method of freight transport, but that shifted to trucks. With our subsidizing of the trucking transport routes (freeways) and our artificially low fuel prices, it was more cost-effective to ship via tractor-trailer. Recently there has been a re-evaluation of that trend as well. Notice Warren Buffet investing heavily in freight rail companies. We are come to a turning point in our transit lifestyles.

    Now we live in a situation, particularly in S. California, in which urban sprawl has become unmanageable. The sprawl-add-freeway-lanes-which-encourage-more-sprawl model doesn’t work. It’s a transport disaster.

    We need to start to back towards a different model. That model will be one with more efficient mass transit which has it’s own ROW – this is often rail, though could also be some form of BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). This will encourage transport ‘nodes’ and naturally re-concentrate population: people in other parts of the world live more densely closer to transport hubs.

    The rail line in question – the corridor to Santa Ana – is one I’ve noticed on the maps, and thankful that it hasn’t been given in to become yet another clogged sidestreet. I thank every rail mile of new track laid in southern California, and I think at some time in the future you might as well.


    January 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm

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