The paper examines the Blue Line corridor, a 22-mile rail transportation route that connects downtown Los Angeles to downtown Long Beach. The line passes through some of the most neglected and poor communities in Los Angeles County. Despite initial rhetoric by rail advocates and local politicians the line has not succeeded in improving the economic environment of adjacent communities. In this paper we use the Blue Line as a case study in an effort to understand the real and perceived barriers to growth around inner city station areas. Based on information gathered through a series of interviews with politicians, planners, community leaders, and transportation experts, and site analysis data from extensive field work we identify the “missing antecedents” for neighborhood development around inner city station areas.