The Long Beach 100 on its first trip out of Long Beach in 1990. Photo courtesy of Metro.
After a unanimous vote by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Thursday the first Blue Line train is headed home to Long Beach.
Mayor Robert Garcia authored the motion to bring home the 1990s train car known as the “Long Beach 100” back to the city. The 100 was the first train to travel between Long Beach and Downtown Los Angeles when the Blue Line opened in 1990.
Metro is in the process of retiring and scrapping their oldest rail vehicles over the next two years and it began rolling out new cars onto the Blue Line in Long Beach this past June. The Long Beach 100 was scheduled to join the scrap heap with at least eight other Metro rail cars until Garcia’s motion, and the board’s approval, changed its course.
Passed unanimously. The original Blue Line Train is coming home to Long Beach to be restored and reused for possible museum / restaurant https://t.co/uYr7E6A4ao
— Robert Garcia (@RobertGarciaLB) September 28, 2017
Now, it will head back to Long Beach where the mayor envisions an adaptive reuse project for the rail car, possibly converting it into a museum or restaurant. It is expected to be taken out of service on the line by May of next year.
“The Long Beach Train is coming home, and will be a great addition to our city,” Garcia said in a statement. “We envision painting the car its original red, white and blue colors and using it not only to exhibit the history of the first light rail line in Los Angeles County, but also use it in a creative way, such as a restaurant or coffee shop.”
The Metro board’s policy regarding the donation of such rail cars does have restrictions but those limits include some of the mayor’s ideas.
Garcia’s motion, which was coauthored by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, County Supervisors Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn and Jackie Dupont-Walker, calls for the Metro CEO to develop an expanded policy of preservation of metro assets, including rail vehicles and bus fleets for display, ceremonial special services and emergency services training.
A report regarding the changes is due back before the Metro board within 60 days.