The first shipment of steel rail on which El Paso’s streetcars will run has arrived in the Sun City. Each length of rail is 59 feet long and weighs approximately 2,300 pounds. About 900 pieces will be used throughout the entire project.
“Other than the historic streetcars themselves, there is no more symbolic element of this project than the rail,” said Raymond Telles, Executive Director of the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority. “After months of utility relocation work, this marks an important milestone in this project as we prepare for laying track this summer.”
Design engineers selected “girder rail” for the El Paso Streetcar project. Unlike the rails traditionally used by railroads in the United States, this type of rail includes a special flange in which the wheels sit.
Developed in 1852, “girder rail” has been extensively used by streetcar projects around the world. Slightly modified “block rail” will be used on bridges.
The girder rail, manufactured in Austria, was carried by ship to the Port of Houston. From there, it was then brought by train to El Paso.
Some curved pieces and other specialty pieces are being brought to El Paso by truck. The block rail was manufactured in the U.S.
Crews expect to begin laying the rail by June. That work will include construction of a concrete slab within streets along the route. The rail will be brought from its current storage location to the construction site where several of the 59-foot long pieces will be welded together and embedded in the slab.
The rail will also be surrounded by a heavy-gauge rubber boot which will insulate the rail and reduce noise and vibration.
As part of the El Paso Streetcar project, new sidewalks will be installed along Father Rahm Avenue between Kansas Street and Santa Fe Street. Beginning this week, crews will begin replacing sidewalks one block at a time. Sidewalk closures will begin this week on the south side of Father Rahm between Kansas and Stanton.
Crews will work within that block removing the existing sidewalk, preparing the ground and installing the new sidewalk.
Father Rahm Avenue remains closed to traffic between Santa Fe and Kansas
Yandell Drive remains reduced to one lane at Stanton Street. However, beginning this week motorists will be required to travel in the far right lane of Yandell Drive rather than the far left lane. Stanton Street will be closed from Wyoming to Montana
Work Underway at Other Locations
- Kansas Street remains closed between Texas and San Antonio Street
- San Antonio Avenue remains closed at Kansas Street
- Lane closures continue on Yandell Drive at Stanton Street
- Lane closures continue on Stanton Street between Wyoming and Yandell
- Lane closures continue on Oregon Street between Rio Grande Avenue and Glory Road
- Lane closures continue on Kansas Street between Paisano Drive and Father Rahm Avenue
- Lane closures continue on Stanton Street between Rio Grande Avenue and Robinson Avenue
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