Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Metro plans for extra service on a huge patronage day were derailed, as an Expo Line train with four-foot high yellow signs urging “Watch For Train” was left splayed across Exposition Boulevard.

The crash interrupted the extra train service planned to serve a sellout crowd for the Mexico versus Ecuador friendly soccer match, and anticipated throngs of Westside residents heading to the NCAA basketball “Elite 8” finals at Staples Center.

Extra trains, bringing service up to every eight minutes, had been planned for the sports fans.

Metro officials tweeted shortly after the crash that they were working to clear the wreckage and restore Expo Line service as quickly as possible, with the huge expected soccer crowds in mind.

Thousands of patrons were expected to transfer onto the Expo Line at downtown, from both the Red Line subway to Hollywood, and the Blue Line rail service to South Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Metro was left scrambling to establish a “bus bridge” between Expo stations at Vermont and at 23rd Street. But those buses had to contend with heavy stadium traffic, and a detour around Exposition Boulevard., which is the one closest to the Coliseum.

The Exposition Station — the one closest to the soccer match — cannot be served by bus bridge service, because it is too close to the crash, firefighters said.

Ironically, the derailed train had been wrapped with gigantic black-on- yellow signs urging “HEADS UP – WATCH FOR TRAINS.”

—City News Service

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