Metro has unveiled updated new plans for improvements at the Arts District's Division 20 rail yard, a key component in the Purple Line's extension to Westwood.

In order to facilitate the increased service planned for the Red and Purple Lines, Metro is:

  • Widening an existing portal located south of the US-101 freeway
  • Constructing a new turnback facility for rail vehicles.

These actions will allow for faster turnaround times than are currently possible at the existing Union Station terminus, which features a stub-end layout without tail tracks.

As part of the revised project, Metro also is laying the groundwork for an expansion of the existing rail yard to increase vehicle storage capacity.  This may involve the demolition of over 300,000 square feet of existing buildings at 815 E. Temple Street, 234 Center Street, 210 Center Street, 1001 E. 1st Street and 214 S. Santa Fe Avenue.  These properties include a development site previously owned by Atlas Capital Group, and the 19th century Pickle Works building.

Another key difference from the earlier plan is the proposed site of the turnback facility, which has been moved from 1st Street to a new location between 4th and 5th Streets.  This revised layout would not preclude an eventual extension of Red and Purple Line service to a proposed at the new 6th Street Viaduct, which was a criticism of the prior arrangement

However, the proposed Arts District rail extension is not considered a part of the Division 20 project, although the Metro Board of Directors has recently revived the push for building a station in the neighborhood.