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San Pedro's Red Cars Will Be Coming Back After All

The San Pedro Red Car line (Photo by Terrell Woods via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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L.A.'s last remaining Red Car line will return to the San Pedro waterfront after fears the iconic trolleys would be retired for good.Last September, city officials announced that the classic trains—which had run on a 1.5 mile rail line since 2003—would be taken out of service for a major construction project with no concrete plan of bringing them back. At the time, Port of Los Angeles officials cited the high cost of relocation and dwindling ridership as major obstacles. Fans and preservationists, meanwhile, feared that the historic trains might meet the same fate as the extensive Red Car rail network that ran throughout L.A. from 1902 until its demise in the early 60s. But thanks to an outpouring of public support, the city has changed its tune and will bring the trains back—with some modern modifications—as part of a feature of the new Ports O' Call makeover, according to the Daily Breeze.

"We took note of the public's displeasure, frustration and even anger last September when the Red Car was taken out of service," City Councilman Joe Buscaino told the Breeze. "We saw how much it meant to the community, to the city and to our history. That is when we knew that it must become a part of the new development."

Part of an extensive renovation of the waterfront retail area, the Red Car trains will run on light rail this time around, instead of the previous century-old track. They'll also be easier to board and offer smoother service, thanks to street-level boarding instead of the original raised platforms. The plans include modifying the two replica cars that have run on the line, but as L.A. Magazine points out, the original 109-year-old streetcar that previously ran may not be able to return with the new modifications.

The line is tentatively planned to run from 6th Street and Harbor Blvd., near the L.A. Maritime Museum, to the southern end of Ports O' Call.

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The city hasn't yet released details on when the train service will return, but more details are expected to be revealed this Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Ports O' Call public meeting. The meeting will take place at the Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. Sixth St., San Pedro.