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Blue Line, Expo running smoothly after morning delays

May 3, 2012 | 11:36 am

Blue Line
Two Metro lines are up and running again Thursday morning after a relay switch malfunction and a stalled train delayed riders downtown.

Riders on the Blue and Expo lines faced brief delays after a relay switch malfunctioned at the shared 7th Street/Metro station about 8:10 a.m., Metro spokesman Rick Jager said. The problem was fixed by 8:50 a.m. and trains were running as scheduled soon after.

Shortly after the switch was fixed, a Blue Line train stalled on the same platform about 10:20 a.m., Metro reported. Jager said crews began using a different platform and the roughly 15-minute delays were clearing up just before 11 a.m.

The issues were not related, Jager said.

The $930-million Expo Line launched last weekend with free fares — and much fanfare — for those who tested out the city's newest light rail line. The line currently runs 7.9 miles from downtown to a station at La Cienega and Jefferson, and officials said a 0.7-mile extension to Culver City should open this summer.

The second phase of the project — slated for completion in four years — will stretch the line to Santa Monica.

Construction on the first phase of the project was delayed for nearly two years as officials made design changes, moved a maintenance facility and addressed construction challenges and the need for additional safety enhancements.

It also took officials several months to set an official opening date for the line after testing revealed technical problems — including signal issues near the junction where the Expo and Blue lines share tracks. Thursday's issue was unrelated, Jager said.

In the days since the line opened, he said, things have been running smoothly.

"So far, so good," he said.

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-- Kate Mather

Photo: The Blue Line, pictured above, is running smoothly again after morning delays. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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