PUBLIC consultation began last month on plans to extend the Los Angeles Gold Line east from Pasadena to Montclair. This would follow the 9·6 km extension from Union Station to East Los Angeles, on which work is expected to begin this year.

A Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Foothill Extension was published at the end of April. This offered two options: 14 km to Irwindale with four stations costing $500m and a 38·6 km line to Montclair with 12 stations for $1bn. There would be a $200m depot at Irwindale, able to maintain 170 vehicles. The depot would support the operation of three-car trains at 5min headways on the full 70·8 km line between Montclair and East Los Angeles.

According to Habib Balian, Interim CEO of the Gold Line Construction Authority, bridges and crossings along the route would have to be widened for double track; a third track may be needed in places to carry residual BNSF freight trains unless these can run at night. Once a Locally Preferred Alternative has been adopted, the authority will apply to the FTA for a federal New Starts grant.