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A Few Red Cars Will Return to Los Angeles, Running on Light Rail

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They'll be part of the redesigned Ports O' Call in San Pedro

The future of San Pedro's Red Cars was not looking so good last summer—the trolley cars were taken out of service in September for a big construction project to realign the road they travel on, but there were no solid plans to bring them back. Now, says the Daily Breeze (via Los Angeles magazine), local officials have been swayed by the outpouring of public support for the Red Cars (and ire over their disappearance) and will be bringing them back as an addition to the huge redevelopment of the Ports O' Call Village shopping complex.

According to the DB, the Red Cars will be modified to travel on a light rail track, a change that would "[require] the cars to have a lower, more contemporary street-level platform," but, says LA, the update would also "enable easier boarding and smoother service."

The plan is to have the train cars travel from Sixth Street and Harbor Boulevard (where the Los Angeles Maritime Museum is) to the southern part of Ports O' Call.

The Red Cars have been running on a mile and a half of San Pedro's waterfront since 2003, serving as a connection between 22nd Street and the Cruise Center. The three cars that run the route include one original Red Car from LA's streetcar heyday (the other two are replicas), and the new light rail modification might mean the retirement of the original on the route. There aren't a lot of details about when this will all happen, but more details are expected to come at a meeting this week about the entire Ports O' Call upgrade.

The Ports O' Call renovation is one of a number of big projects down at the port, including a realignment of Sampson Way (which will have it cut right through the Red Cars' old path) and the construction of a town square for San Pedro. Wilmington is also working on a fancy, waterfront upgrade in the form of a more-than-two-acre promenade.