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Courtesy: El Paso County Historical Sociey

Crews start Work on Overhead Catenary System for Trolleys Wednesday

Electrical subcontractors from Paso del Norte Trackworks will set the first of more than 400 poles which will carry power to El Paso’s streetcars this week, the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority announced Tuesday.

The poles are part of the Overhead Catenary System — or OCS. Each pole will be placed on one of hundreds of pole foundations, many of which have already been placed along the 4.8 mile route.

The OCS will power the streetcars by carrying electrical DC power through catenary wires above the route. Each streetcar will draw power through an overhead mast mounted on top of the vehicle which makes contact with the overhead catenary electrical wire.

Because foundations have already been placed, this work will proceed relatively quickly — each pole taking between 30 minutes and an hour to place. Therefore, Paso del Norte Trackworks will seek to minimize interruptions to traffic by completing the work utilizing rolling lane closures which will be confined to the immediate work zone.

Motorists and cyclists are urged to use extra caution in these areas. Additionally, pedestrians should be aware that sidewalks will be closed immediately surrounding work zones.

The first poles are being placed this week along Kansas Street in Downtown El Paso. Work is expected to move to Oregon Street near the University of Texas at El Paso next week.

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