Cypress Park and Elysian Valley residents target train pollution and noise

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

Freight and passenger trains have rumbled through Cypress Park for about a century. While Taylor Yard, the former rail yard operated by Southern Pacific, was put out of commission and part of it transformed into parkland, Cypress Park remains home to the main maintenance facility for Metrolink, the commuter rail service.  That center, located between San Fernando Road and the Los Angeles River, will be the focus of a Wednesday night meeting to address complaints about the noise and pollution generated by the facility. Metrolink mechanics work on about 28 locomotives at day at the Cypress Park yard, where each engine emits diesel fumes as they idle up to 30 minutes a day while being serviced.

Wednesday’s meeting will be held in Elysian Valley, which sits across the river from the Metrolink yard and where some residents are also concerned about noise and pollution.  A website set up by residents summarizes their concerns:

 The quality of life is being dangerously impacted in these neighborhoods, especially for our children and our elderly residents, as well as the thousands of California residents that use the new L.A. River bike path, The Rio de Los Angeles State Park and the soon to be opened Central Region High School No. 13.

But Metrolink  said  it is taking steps to reduce the emissions and noise coming from its trains.  The commuter rail line is building another large repair shop in San Bernardino that will reduce the number of engines repaired in Cypress Park by 50% by 2014,  Metrolink Chief Executive John E. Fenton said during a meeting last month with Assemblyman Gil Cedillo. Fenton also agreed to investigate a funnel device recommended by air quality officials to reduce pollution while the engines are being serviced and to plant trees around the maintenance center, according to Conrado Terrazas, a spokesman for Cedillo, who summarized the meeting in an email.

Wednesday’s meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Dickerson Employee Benefit Center, 1918 Riverside Drive.

Related post:

  • Elysian Valley: Metrolink maintenance yard and environmental justice. Corralitas Red Car

No comments

  1. The thing I don’t quite understand is that there are 2 major freeways at this intersection as well but the meeting notes don’t seem to mention their impact. I manage a property adjacent to the 110 freeway and there is more soot in the area than even a few blocks away.

  2. All I Have 2 Say The P eople Of That Area Are Idiots . The Trains Been Ideling Sense Southern Pacific Had the Yard If U People Dont Like It Move U All Know The Trains Where There First’

  3. I live up on the hill nearby this Metro location and at night, the trains are rather soothing. I understand it wouldn’t be the case if you live right up next to them, as many do – more trees is always a good thing for this city. Whatever happened to Villaraigosa’s dream of planting a million trees? Or did I make that up…

  4. Who has time to fix locomotives? I’m too busy riding my bike.

    I guess San Bernardino needs the jobs more than Los Angeles anyway.

  5. I agree wholeheartedly with Sherrie. Lived on Huron St. for years and the sound of trains were one of the handful of remaining connections to an older L.A. I guarantee if you ask longtime residents on Jeffrey, Huron, and Pepper, they will tell you the trains don’t bother them. It’s part of the neighborhood, and part of history, just as in Memphis, Albuquerque, New Orleans, etc.

  6. What a pathetic display of narrow-mindedness of those local NIMBY’s.
    It appears, target the relatively clean and environmentally-friendly trains while ignoring massive exhaust and pollution from cars and adjacent freeways.
    Those residents are truly messed-up in their heads.
    Please, learn about trains versus cars, before targeting innocent modes of transportation!

  7. I used to live on Huron too, and loved the sound of the trains at night. We can’t ignore the industrial history of this area. But, anything we can do to cut down on pollution is great, and trees sound like a smart start. I am honestly more concerned about idling automobiles than idling trains. Why can’t people turn off their cars when they are parked?

  8. The area has a strong industrial history, but a hundred years ago we didn’t know what diesel particulates do to health. We know this today and there are measures that can be taken to reduce the health impact on the immediate community such as sound barriers and fume hoods for the engines. Just because an area has a history of tolerating bad industrial neighbors doesn’t mean that it will do so indefinitely. The freight trains of UP just move through, they are not really the problem. It’s the multi-hour engine idling belching plumes of smoke at issue from the Metrolink facility.

  9. Kevin
    More Trains will eventually be brought in, this is the reason for the the San Brndo Sta, there is no job lost. I also loved riding my bike, can’t ride due to breathing issues.

  10. I think it is much more important to address noise and pollution from private motor cars the despoil our streets and ruin the air in our community – not to mention put our lives at danger any time we want to cross the street! I’d be willing to live with Metrolink’s maintenance yard if the streets in our community weren’t seen only as car-only sewer pipes for suburban commuters frustrated with the freeway traffic. Speaking of air pollution and noise – is there anything that will be done to address the wounds the 5, 110, 134, and 2 wreak on our community?!

  11. Cars and trucks on the Freeways are regulated. Our cars have to pass smog check every two years, then we can operate them on the roads. Trucks are also regulated as well. their exhaust pipe are equipped with particulate filters and reduction cat for NOx. Therefore, their particulate matters (PM) and NOx very low compare to Metro-Link Trains. They are not regulated. Their locomotive engines and HEP (generate electrical power to operate A/C and lights) engines release ton and ton of PM (soot) and NOx per year in our backyard even they are just idling.

  12. Metrolink confirmed that because they are exempt from conducting environmental impact studies, they never have on this yard or its level of pollution or negative effects on residents–even while it was in planning in the 90s. Last night Metrolink agreed to look into studying emissions and finding ways to reduce emissions, which are up to many pounds of particulates per hour per train. Next meeting is in January to follow up on the community’s many concerns about the pollution and noise that seems to be mostly from a lack of regulations (there are no regulations at all) on idling trains.

    In comparison, trucks are not allowed to idle more than 5 minutes. If you have problems with idling trucks you can report them to Air Resources Board at 1-800-END-SMOG.

  13. Base on my finding compared from brake horse power per hour (bhp/hr), one Metro-Link bhp/hr is equivalence to 44 heavy duty trucks bhp/hr for PM emissions. And for the NOx, one Metro-Link bhp/hr is equivalence to 87 heavy duty trucks bhp/hr. Look at the sample below:

    Particulate Matter (PM)

    One Metro-Link horse power is 0.44 g/bhp-hr (Tie 0 CFR switch emissions standar)
    One heavy duty truck horse power is 0.01 g/bhp-hr (2007 CFR standard)

    Oxide of Nitrogen

    One Metro_link horse power is 17.4 g/bhp-hr (tier 0 CFR switch emission standar)
    One heavy duty truck horse power is 0.2 g/bhp-hr (2010 CFR emission standard)

    Therefore, each Metro-Link locomotive engine idles in the yard is equivalent to 44 and 87 heavy duty trucks according to emissions standard above.

  14. Remember: They have more than thirty locomotive engines and HEP engines ran in central maintenance facility (CMF) between the hours 10 to at least 2:30 pm every weekday based on my estimate. All trains arrive to Union Station in the morning will come to this CMF yard for service. (they provide to AQMD that 28 trains service in this CMF. however the total MetroLink’s fleet is 52 trains. I believe now you can do your math, right)

  15. A. Trains are quieter and way more energy efficient than trucks or buses. Why don’t people put their energy into dealing with the freeways? That’s the real problem. You can spew numbers all day about what trains put out but it’s the roar and exhaust from millions of cars that makes that valley miserable and the bike path basically unusable and restoration of the river through there a waste of time.

  16. It certainly sound irresponsible not to monitor air quality at the Metrolink facility. Why wait for these folks to monitor themselves? The Neighborhood Councils in the area should try and contract out the services of a firm or a group of academics to study the issue themselves.

  17. No train or noise pollution

    Other K and DD are right. But change is hard for some people. And, there is a lot of ignorance. Residents that live in the area for years say, “leave the trains alone”. They are ignorant. They think others want to change their way of thinking or their lives or their culture. They need to understand that it is NOT o.k. to breath train pollution or be forced to heard loud noise all the time from the trains.

    There are long time and short time residents that want improvements in the area for everyone. Some people do not want change even if it benefits them. Some support the trains because it takes the cars off of the streets. That is fine but we need to make the trains better. The area deserves less pollution and less train noise.

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