From Red Cars to the Red Line Subway. This is a tunnel-face look at the construction of LA's first modern Subway. Plus Pentrex gives us an 'Extra", a 10 minute look at the Red Line Subway today.
Independent filmmaker Chris Hume spent thousands of dollars of his own money and hundreds of hours making this documentary about the beginnings of the Los Angeles’ Metro Rail subway system. The Red Line, now also called the B Line, was the first subway line in LA. It was a $4.5-billion construction project by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority - which gave the filmmaker unfettered access to the project. Hundreds of feet underground Chris explored the Red Line’s deepest and longest tunnels.
The Red Line is 16 miles long, running from Downtown LA to North Hollywood. At one point the miners, tunnel boring machine and filmmaker were 900 feet below street level. The LA Times interviewed Chris Humes, Entering the tunnel on the Universal City side, he once traveled nearly two miles into the Santa Monica Mountains--at one point to a depth of about 900 feet--toward the future Hollywood/Highland station to watch the tunnel-boring machines (“They’re as big as a football field!”) at work.
“It was incredible, like being on a spaceship,” Hume said of being inside the enormous machines. “You’re hundreds of feet underground walking on catwalks near machines with banks of gauges and dials. It’s very hot and wet, probably more than 100 degrees down there. And the air has to be pumped in artificially from the opening two miles back.”
This is not the usual "railfan" show, it is a documentary on the people, engineering and construction of the subway - including scenes of the 1997 "hole-through" - the underground meeting of the crews and machines tunneling north from Hollywood and south from North Hollywood. Pentrex has added a more usual railfan "Extra" to this video, a 10 minute look at the Red Line today.