Metrolink agrees to study potential health risks of Cypress Park rail yard

Metrolink maintenance center at Taylor Yards in Cypress Park.

The chief of Metrolink today said the commuter rail service will commission a study to look at what if any health risks its Cypress Park maintenance center may pose for surrounding residents.  The  announcement was made as Metrolink  faced growing  pressure by community groups as well as  local and federal leaders to conduct an extensive health assessment of  facility on a portion of Southern Pacific’s former Taylor Yard.

In addition to noise generated by idling engines,residents in Cypress Park and across the river in Elysian Valley have also expressed concern about  particulate matter – small particles of pollution that can be inhaled – in the exhaust of the many diesel engines serviced at the center.

Metrolink Chief Executive Officer Michael P. DePallo  directed staff to immediately begin preparing “for commission of a health risk assessment (HRA) of the agency’s Central Maintenance Facility” on San Fernando Road next to the Los Angeles River.  “This is a significant step to quantify the emissions emanating from the facility and to solidify a baseline,” said DePallo in a statement.

In late  May, congressmen Xavier Becerra and Adam Schiff   repeated requests that Metrolink  undertake the study of potential health risks.  Schiff  expressed frustration over Metrolink’s resistance to commission the study and for its failure “to address community fears.”

Today, Schiff said he was “pleased” with Metrolink’s response, and” I look forward to working with Metrolink to find the right firm to undertake the assessment so both the agency and residents have confidence in the study and its results.”

Metrolink has taken steps to reduce air and noise pollution at the maintenance center, which is located on San Fernando Road south of Rio De Los Angeles State Park. For example, the agency has reduced the idling time of engines while at the center and also installed a system that allows trains to run on electric power while they are being serviced instead of relying on their diesel engines. In addition, Metrolink has also agreed to purchase 20 locomotives that emit less pollution.


  1. Glad these studies are being conducted for the existing residents of the area. I find it strange that such studies were not conducted by the ‘Rio Vista’ condo project being built near Taylor Yard, prior to construction. What builder would proceed with building residential units without first ensuring the area will be habitable and safe for its future residents?

  2. It’s a good thing they are doing this. Since the train tracks and yard are newly constructed, residents in the area were caught unaware when they moved in. Just like those poor victims who are forced to live near the airport.

    Seriously though, how many of these people use cell phones? Microwave ovens? You can’t live in a bubble. What about cars and trucks rumbling down the freeway that is adjacent to these communities? Should we require Caltrans to perform an environmental assessment? What is the mitigation measure? Shutting down the train yard? What a waste of money.

  3. Kyle-

    The Taylor train repair facility was constructed in 1991. The majority of the houses near it where constructed in 1920-40. Looks like the neighborhood was there first and since in the 90’s Frogtown was not very wealthy got a train yard shoved down it’s throat.

    Get your facts straight. But since you don’t think it’s a problem I guess you won’t mind if the train repair facility is moved to your area then? Without an EIR or any such consideration BTW.

    • I was born in Pasadena in 1977 and Taylor Yard has always been there from many childhood rides down San Fernando. A quick google search shows that it was constructed in the 1920’s. Why are you making up ‘facts’?

  4. Original Taylor Yard was probably built prior to neighborhood or around same time. Remember locomotives.

  5. Metrolink is NOT the problem. Union Pacific is the problem. Union Pacific blows their train horns night and day. No one is going after them. Everyone is going after MetroLink which is not the problem. MetroLink has been very cooperative and make some great changes. MetroLink deserves a lot of credit for the major changes they have done and are still working on.

    Union Pacific is the problem. Councilmember Ed Reyes never did anything about the problems in Taylor Yard. I brought the train horn problems to their attention 12 years ago by giving them information about “quiet zones”. He never took ANY action. Shame on him. July 1, 2013 CD1 gets a new councilmember, Gil Cedillo.

    The railroad has been there since the 1920’s. But the maintenance yard was built around 1990. The maintenance yard does maintenance on the trains. We need to make sure the maintenance yard is safe for people that live in the area.

    Again, MetroLink is NOT the problem. Union Pacific is the problem. Go after the bad guys, not the good ones.

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