Daibutsu, Kamakura

Daibutsu, Kamakura
Daibutsu in Kamakura, June 2010. There were thousands of school kids visiting that day. It was still great fun.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Taking the Train in Los Angeles

Yesterday I rode on another light rail train line in Los Angeles called the Blue Line. This was the first time I took that line. It travels from Long Beach to Downtown Los Angeles. It passes through some of the roughest and grittiest neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

While on the train I noticed that the train cars were made in Japan. The company is called Nippon Sharyo. I went to their website and found that they have a short description of the trains that they sold to Los Angeles. The cars were apparantly made in 1989 so they are almost 20 years old.

Naturally these cars a just like the train cars you see in Japan. There are some minor differences however. The Los Angeles Blue Line cars are scratched up with graffiti, have old gum stuck to the seats and trash on the floors. Other then that, they look just like trains in Japan.

The train cars actually are not too bad. They are relatively clean. They definately are not like the days back in the 70's in New York when train cars used to look like this:


  1. Can you get some photos of the interior of the trains? I can't imagine gum-ed up seats and trash on the ground.

    On the train home tonight in Tokyo, however, there was a totally drunk old Japanese man literally lying on the floor of the train, and crawling around a bit, still holding a can of beer. He got into an argument with an obese Japanese woman.

    Do you ever see that kind of stuff in L.A.?

  2. I don't plan on taking that train again so I am not sure I can get pics. The trains in LA are not too bad really. Trains in the US used to be a lot worse 20 or 30 years ago. But they are definately dirtier then Japanese trains.

    I have seen a lot of sick stuff on LA trains. No violence except for one near fight. I have seen a bum smoke what appeared to be crack or meth. There are many, many homeless who sleep and stink on the trains.

    And one drugged out homeless dude who pulled his pants down and was playing with himself. I called security but it took 10 or 11 stops before a sheriff deputy showed up and took him away.

    I have seen many other wackos and weirdos.

  3. Also, the Blue Line goes through the sickest, grittiest neighborhoods in LA. I can't imagine living in neighborhoods like that. One of my co-workers said he heard that the LA Gangs have agreed that the Blue Line is neutral territory.

    That maybe true because I don't recall hearing in the news of any real violence or other crime on the Blue Line or other train lines. They are pretty safe.

  4. I could never imagine seeing a train carriage looking like that in Japan!

    So many of the private line trains all look the same, I think they use the same manufacturer.

  5. Yes, this Nippon Sharyo appears to be a big manufacturer of trains in Japan and for export.

  6. You guys are lucky to have trains any at all. The Jamaica Railway system died many decades ago -_-

    all I can hear is stories from my mom and other older folks about how fun it was riding the trains back in the day.

    I did enjoy my time on the subway in New York a couple months ago though.

  7. Thanks for comment Jamaipanese.
    Congrats on Jamaica's Olympic success. Too bad some other commenters on your blog would rather make insulting comments about the US athletes but oh well.

    It is too bad that your country does not have trains. When you finally are able to travel to japan, you will be amazed at the train system they have there.

  8. Anonymous6:50 PM

    I remember riding trains like the one in that picture when I was a kid. By the time I was a teenager though the MTA had cleaned up it's act. Older cars were painted dark red (which some NYers called "redbirds") newer ones where just bare stainless steel.

  9. I rode the Blue Line last week and it looked pretty clean to me. I was expecting much worse. There was NO graffiti on the cars, inside or out. Not much litter either - just a few bits of paper here and there. The Blue Line is 20 years old now, but from what I saw, it still looks good and runs well.

  10. Yeah, they're not horrible. Some cars are worse than others. Most Red Line cars are pretty good also but some cars have the windows and seats scratched up.

  11. too bad your trains are boring, and not full of life, stories, and art like "days back in the 70's in New York".