Getting around Los Angeles by Rail/Metro Rail

Los Angeles County's Metro Rail serves five lines, two light rail and two heavy rail, which cover a total of 70 stations in 79 miles (127 km) of track. The system offers connections to Metro Bus lines (which take take passengers to destinations not served in trains), Metrolink trains (the commuter train for the greater Los Angeles area, from as far south as Oceanside to as far north as Oxnard), and Amtrak trains (only at Los Angeles Union Station).

Metro Rail system map
Metro Rail's current system map (click to enlarge).



Metro Rail currently operates five lines. The Red and Purple lines are heavy-rail transit systems, and the Gold, Green, and Blue lines (the Black/Expo line in the future) are light-rail transit systems.

Metro Red and Purple LinesEdit

Name of Line Red Line
Route Number 802
Route Direction East-West
North/East Terminus Los Angeles Union Station
South/West Terminus North Hollywood
Transfer Stations Los Angeles Union Station (Gold Line, Metrolink/Amtrak), 7th Street/Metro Center (Blue Line)
LRT/HRT HRT (Heavy-Rail Transit) - Subway
Name of Line Purple Line
Route Number 805
Route Direction East-West
North/East Terminus Los Angeles Union Station
South/West Terminus Wilshire/Western
Transfer Stations Los Angeles Union Station (Gold Line, Metrolink/Amtrak), 7th Street/Metro Center (Blue Line)
LRT/HRT HRT (Heavy-Rail Transit) - Subway
Ansaldobreda HRT trains like this serve both the Red and Purple lines.

The Metro Red Line travels from Los Angeles Union Station (connection to the Gold Line) to North Hollywood (connection to the Metro Orange Line, which is a bus). It runs on a concurrency with the Metro Purple Line from the Los Angeles Union Station terminus to Wilshire/Vermont.

The Metro Purple Line serves as a reliever of transit services on the heavily-used Red Line. It starts at Los Angeles Union Station (transfer available to the Gold Line) and runs along the same track as the Red Line until Wilshire/Vermont. It then continues on Wilshire until it reaches Wilshire/Normandy and Wilshire/Western, its western terminus.

Both the Red and Purple lines use Ansaldo-Breda heavy-rail transit trains. The length of the train varies from time to time; longer trains are used on weekday rush hours and holidays, while shorter trains are used at other times.

Metro Blue LineEdit

Name of Line Blue Line
Route Number 801
Route Direction North-South
North/East Terminus 7th Street/Metro Center
South/West Terminus Long Beach Loop (5th Street, 1st Street, Transit Mall, Pacific)
Transfer Stations 7th Street/Metro Center (Red/Purple Lines), Imperial/Wilmington (Green Line)
LRT/HRT LRT (Light-Rail Transit)
A Blue Line train in an at-grade station.

The oldest of the Metro Rail lines, this line connects the southern-central part of Los Angeles county. Starting in Downtown Los Angeles (7th Street/Metro Center station), it proceeds directly south, passing the Staples Center and many suburban communities until reaching its termini stations at Long Beach. The terminus is a loop, so trains serving the entire line will start at 7th Street/Metro Center, continue south until reaching the loop, traveling around the loop, then returning north back to 7th Street. A half-mile from 7th Street/Metro Center to Pico is underground; the track surfaces once it leaves the dense downtown area, before it reaches Pico.

Before the extension of the Gold Line in 2009, this was the longest line in the Metro Rail system with 21 stations. The initial segment was the first railway LACMTA (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority) opened. The Loop soon followed, then the extension into the Financial District (from Pico to 7th Street/Metro Center). This line still uses its original Nippon-Sharyo fleet but is updating to newer Siemens trains soon.

Metro Green LineEdit

Name of Line Green Line
Route Number 803
Route Direction East-West
North/East Terminus Norwalk (I-605-/I-105)
South/West Terminus Redondo Beach
Transfer Stations Imperial/Wilmington (Blue Line)
LRT/HRT LRT (Light-Rail Transit)
A Metro Green Line train pulls into a station.

This line runs almost entirely along I-105 (Century Freeway) and is most notable for passing LAX. Starting at Norwalk (also known as I-605/I-105), several miles short of the Metrolink Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs Station, it continues in an easterly direction along I-105, reaching the transfer station to the Blue Line, Imperial/Wilmington. It then continues along the Century Freeway before passing LAX at Aviation/LAX Station (which provides a free shuttle to LAX). It then leaves the 105 Freeway just before its end and turns south to pass El Segundo and finally terminate at Redondo Beach.

This line was built after the Red and Blue Lines but before the designation of the Purple Line. It uses Siemens trains.

Metro Gold LineEdit

Name of Line Gold Line
Route Number 804
Route Direction North/South
North/East Terminus Sierra Madre Villa
South/West Terminus Atlantic
Transfer Stations Los Angeles Union Station (Gold Line, Metrolink/Amtrak)
LRT/HRT LRT (Light-Rail Transit)
Two Gold Line trains at Memorial Park station, one of 3 below-grade stations on the Gold Line (Mariachi Plaza and Soto are the others).

The most recently completed line, the Gold Line serves the suburbs of Pasadena, Los Angeles Union Station, and East LA. This train starts at its northerly terminus at Sierra Madre Villa. From there it runs along the I-210 until it makes a turn and goes through Pasadena. It then passes through Chinatown and Los Angeles Union Station, a transfer stop to the Red and Purple Lines, and continues in a southeast direction until it reaches Atlantic station in East Los Angeles. This line utilizes the newest fleet of Ansaldo-Breda LRT trains and is the longest line, surpassing the Blue Line with its southeast extension in 2009.