Metrolink to address community concerns over Cypress Park maintenance center

Metrolink maintenance center is located in Cypress Park and across the river from Elysian Valley/Google Maps

Officials from Metrolink are scheduled to appear at a Wednesday night meeting to respond to a long list of environmental concerns raised by Cypress Park and Elysian Valley residents over the commuter rail service’s  maintenance yard in Cypress Park. The meeting is a follow up to an October gathering during which residents complained about noise and air pollution generated by the maintenance yard, located between the Los Angeles River and San Fernando Road.

The commuter rail service has no plans to shut down the facility, which services 30 train sets on most weekdays, said spokeswoman Sherita Coffelt. Coffelt would not say what Metrolink officials would talk about on Wednesday. “It’s just a next step in an ongoing relationship with our neighbors,” she said.

Environmentalists and neighborhood activists said the idling locomotives at maintenance center – part of the former Taylor Yards that operated for decades in Cypress Park until it closed about 20 years ago –  emit diesel exhaust and noise within only a few hundred feet of homes and the Cypress Park Recreation Center.


  1. In 1998 State of California Air Resources Board identified that Diesel Exhaust is Air Toxic Contaminant. Subsequently, public transit bus system such as MTA, Dash, and etc. have to convert their diesel engines to run on compress natural gas (CNG), which is gas we use to cook food in the house. In addition, many stringent regulations set forth: freight truck can not idle engine more than 5 minutes, school bus can not idle engine when arrive at school to pick up students, and diesel engine manufactures requires to come-up way to reduce diesel emissions.

    Ships arrived at port of Los Angeles and Long Beach require to use shore power to power ships instead of using ship’s diesel engine to generate electrical power.

    The Union pacific (UP) and Burlington Santa Fe (BNFS) have an agreement with State of California to equip their trains with automatic shut off devices so locomotive engines can limit the idle time. (finished installation by 2008)

    Here we have, MetroLink never carries any passenger goes over interstate boarder; however, it has a privilege to be over see by Federal Regulation. No California agency have jurisdiction over Metrolink.

    Metrolink services more than 30 trains in central maintenance facility along the LA River. Each train equips with two engines. the large locomotive engine is used to move train from A to B and the other engine is used to generate electrical power to operate its air condition, heater, and light for railcards. these two engines are filthy dirty. they release tons and tons of Air Toxic Contaminant in our communities daily.

    What can you do to help? Come to the meeting.

  2. “MetroLink never carries any passenger goes over interstate boarder”… All railroads are overseen by the FRA… this is nothing new.

  3. Is there anything that can be done with this yard to help connect Elysian Park and Los Angeles State Historic Park? Any kind of bridge or walkway to help hikers and bikers?

    • Newbie to anser your question, I dont think so. But that should be something that you could suggest to the people if you come to a meeting like tonights and ask them there.

      Although this article mentions concerns over noise and air pollution I dont know how your suggestion would fall under the 2 points of what this meeting was about.

      I for one was there and like always seems like the finger pointing and long pauses in between there answers never gets old…

  4. dd: Equipping trains with CNG is not practical. While it is cleaner, CNG is less efficient than traditional diesel in a miles per gallon and more expensive, when you’re talking about filling a locomotive up with 2,000 gallons once every other day or so the operational costs would increase astonomically, which in turn would raise ticket prices, which in turn would force more people into cars, which are tremendously more inefficient than trains. (The ironic thing about that is I don’t hear these residents complaining about the neighboring I-5, which is louder and more polluting than the Metrolink yard).

    The Taylor Yard complex has been there approximately a hundred years, nowadays it is a mere shadow of what it used to be. I highly doubt any of the homeowners in the area owned property there before the railyard existed, therefore it is my opnion that nobody who owns property in the vicinity of the railyard has any right to complain to anyone, because they CHOSE to move in next to a railyard. I kind of view it along the lines of filing a lawsuit against the realtor because they didn’t sell you a home with an ocean view.

    With that said, Metrolink takes a lot of steps to ensure that they use as little diesel and emit as little pollution as possible, including shutting off the electrical systems onboard the train (and the motor which generates them) whenever they’re not needed. They also received 15 new locomotives which are up to the latest emissions requirement, and are currently overhauling their older locomotives to that specification.

    Unfortunately the residents of the area around the yard suffer from what’s referred to by other people as NIMBYism. For those who don’t know, MINBY is an acronym which means “Not In My BackYard”. Basically, it means “It doesn’t look pretty and doesn’t do me any good so I don’t want it”. It’s usually associated with people who place as many blockades as they can to prevent public works projects from occuring, which is why such projects cost so much money and time to implement. In this case, and it is a legitimate usage of the term, it refers to people who want to change the neighborhood around them because it doesn’t suit their liking, rather than moving to one which they prefer. Generally if you pay these people enough money they will go away and shut up for a few years, because that’s all they really want.

    Yes, I work for the railroad, yes I think the complaints are ridiculous, no I don’t work for Metrolink.

  5. Hunting&Pecking

    How far does the noise pollution stretch? I looked at a house nearby on a weekend (the flipper house on Idell that you have another article on) – would it be noisy that far away on weekdays? How about the air pollution? Is it really stinky?

  6. The noise from the train horns is extremely loud especially for those living in Elysian Valley and also other the other side of San Fernando Road in Cypress Park. You can hear train horns blowing at all hours of the night and day.

    I have made Councilmember Ed Reyes and Councilmember Eric Garcetti aware of the problem and given them information to help stop the train horns. Both offices have ignored the information. I have given Councilmember Ed Reyes office that package of information 6 different times. They refuse to do anything.

    And, the train pollution from the ideling trains is awful.

    Finally there is a group in Elysian Valley that is working on this problem. It looks like they are getting the politicans attention and making progress.


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