Original Blue Line train car will be preserved in Downtown Long Beach

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The longest tenured train car on Los Angeles’s oldest light rail line will soon retire to Long Beach.

Metro’s board of directors approved a framework on Thursday for preserving train cars now being decommissioned and replaced by the transit agency after nearly 30 years of service on the Blue Line, which opened in 1990.

As part of the plan, car No. 100, nicknamed “Long Beach,” will be donated to the city for historic preservation. Mayor Robert Garcia reveled in a tweet after the meeting that the train could be adaptively reused as a museum or even a restaurant.

It wouldn’t be the first LA-area restaurant to service guests in a retired train car. West Hollywood’s Formosa Cafe and Carney’s on Sunset Boulevard (and Ventura Boulevard) are based out of an old Pacific Electric Red Car and a Los Angeles Railway Yellow Car, respectively, while Westlake’s classy Pacific Dining Car restaurant mimics the appearance of a train but never actually rolled on any track.

That certainly won’t be the case with the Long Beach car. According to the motion passed Thursday, the old Blue Line cars now being taken out of service averaged 1.5 million miles of travel each during their years in service.

As part of a larger strategy to improve service on the notoriously delay-prone Blue Line, Metro plans to add a fleet of 78 new train cars to the route over the next year, refurbishing 54 other cars and phasing out all of the original cars by the end of 2018.

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