Heavy rail or monorail? L.A. Metro has a big decision to make for Sepulveda Transit Corridor

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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The heavy rail line version would be about 14.5 miles and cost $10.8 billion.

Will the Sepulveda Transit Corridor project be heavy on the minds of L.A. Metro Board members, or will it be a monorail?

Officials will weigh in on two options for the project: a heavy rail line or a monorail that will run along the I-405 freeway between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside. LA Skyrail Express is proposing the monorail, while Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners – Bechtel are offering the heavy rail line option.

The monorail line would run along existing right-of-way within I-405 and rail corridors. The route would be 15 miles long and trains could reach speeds of 65 mph. The construction cost is estimated to be $6.1 billion, with annual maintenance and operating costs set at $44 million.

LA Skyrail Express’s proposal also comes with an alternate concept that would include 4 additional miles of track. The idea realizes the full buildout of the Sepulveda Transit Corridor between L.A. Metro’s Orange Line in the north and the Los Angeles International Airport. The second option would cost $7.5 billion.

Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners – Bechtel is going with a heavy rail line similar to L.A. Metro’s existing B and D lines. The plan is about 14.5 miles long and consists of elevated and below-grade tracks between the Valley and Westside. Trains would reach speeds of 80 mph, and the project is estimated to cost $10.8 billion. A single-bore tunnel also is part of the proposal.

Metro is expected to begin the environmental review for the Sepulveda Transit Corridor in the next few months. The selection of the preferred alternative will follow, and then the winning team will have the opportunity to submit a bid to build the line.

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Categories: Commuter/Regional, High-Speed Rail, Intercity, Passenger, Rail News, Railroad News, Track Construction
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