8/10/2018 3:55 PM
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Preparation for El Paso Streetcar Project accelerates, including daytime operator training, nighttime electrical tests

EL PASO, Texas — As preparations related to the the El Paso Streetcar Project continue, the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority and Sun Metro are planning several testing and training operations in the coming weeks.
On-Street Operator Training
On Monday, August 13, 2018, Sun Metro will begin training streetcar operators during daytime hours from 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. This will be the first opportunity for the public to share the road with the Streetcar while it operates in daytime traffic throughout its route. We remind the public to always follow standard safety procedures when driving, cycling or walking: Obey traffic laws and cross safely at designated locations.
Electrical Testing on Uptown Loop
Contractors working for the CRRMA will conduct electrical testing along the Uptown Loop between 7:00 p.m. and midnight on Monday, August 13, 2018. During this test, contractors will intentionally short-circuit some of the electrical components in a controlled environment to ensure safety mechanisms are properly functioning. Those along the Uptown Loop at the time may hear two loud ‘booms’ during this test. There is no danger to members of the public.
The Uptown Loop includes Franklin Avenue, Stanton Street, Glory Road, Baltimore Drive and Oregon Street.
Overnight Testing Continues on Uptown Loop
On Tuesday, August 14, 2018, the CRRMA will resume other overnight on-street vehicle testing which will require intermittent street and lane closures along the Uptown Loop. More information on those closures will be released in the coming days.
Does This Mean I Can Ride?
Not quite yet. The CRRMA and Sun Metro each have several more months of testing and training to ensure the system can operate safely for the public. In the coming weeks, you’ll likely to see streetcars running more often along the route but, again, you won’t be able to board just yet.
Below are some important tips to remember as we begin seeing the streetcars out-and-about more often:
  • Other than traveling on a fixed route, the streetcars will operate much like other vehicles. They will have a maximum speed of approximately 25 miles per hour, obeying all traffic laws and — in most cases — they will travel with other vehicles in a travel lane.
  • The Streetcar is powered by lines running above the street which carry 650 DC volts of electricity. Every line is fully energized. Never touch the wires.
  • Don’t ride your bike along the rails; your tire can get stuck between the rail and the pavement. When you cross the rails, do so at a 90-degree angle.
  • Pedestrians should also use extra caution when crossing the rails or walking near the streetcar line. Always LOOK both ways and LISTEN for the streetcar before stepping in the crosswalk.
  • Motorists should never cut off the streetcar whether it is moving or standing. Never block the tracks while parking or changing lanes.
  • For more information, call (844) 252-RAIL.
Click here to view bilingual safety videos.
About the project
The CRRMA is tasked with constructing the project, using Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) funding and a design provided by The City of El Paso (City). Once operational, Sun Metro will operate and maintain the Streetcars and associated facilities. The CRRMA will place track over a 4.8-mile route, adding 27 stops and a maintenance and storage facility. The route will be serviced by Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) streetcar vehicles – the same vehicles that ran on El Paso streets until 1974. The route runs in two loops, connecting the international bridges, retail areas, government buildings, convention center and downtown ballpark with the Las Palmas/Providence medical center, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso Community College and several historic neighborhoods.

Marina Monsisvais
Owner, Barracuda PR