Valley Metro tests Tempe-Mesa light-rail segment - East Valley Tribune: News

Valley Metro tests Tempe-Mesa light-rail segment

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Posted: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 3:54 pm | Updated: 11:54 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

All systems were go Tuesday as Valley Metro tested part of its 20-mile light-rail line. A single car ran at a walking pace as engineers observed the connection between overhead electrical wires and trains.

VIDEO: Watch a video of the Tempe-Mesa test run

All systems were go Tuesday as Valley Metro tested part of its 20-mile light-rail line. A single car ran at a walking pace as engineers observed the connection between overhead electrical wires and trains.

The seven-hour test started at about 8 a.m. at the Fifth Street and College Avenue station in Tempe. It ended at the Main Street and Sycamore station in Mesa. It was the first time a train had moved along that part of the line.

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Valley Metro scuttled a June 9 test of the same area due to the failure of a monitoring camera.

Metro transit system spokeswoman Marty McNeil said engineers checked how much room there is between platforms and trains at stations, overhead lines and track structures . She said a major concern was how the pantograph, a device that collects electric current from overhead lines to power the trains, worked.

“Everything went well this time,” said McNeil, who added that no test reports will be released. “It’s a tedious process, especially the first time out. It’s slow because the guys want to take their time so they get it perfect.

“This was for getting the vehicle out, the big job.”

McNeil said further testing will take place in about two weeks, after work is done on some traffic signals and Valley Metro’s global positioning system.

“Safety is the most important thing the first time,” she said. “There were frequent stops to make measurements. As the cars go out more and more, gradually they will take things a little faster.”

The system is scheduled to open in late December. Final light-rail alignment approval came in November 2000.

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