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Initial Testing Phase of El Paso Streetcar Electrical Components Begins

Photo: El Paso County Historical Society

Before the City of El Paso begins operating the service for the public, the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority will undertake several months rigorous testing of the El Paso Streetcar Project to ensure the system is safe and operating as expected. That includes testing elements of the Overhead Catenary System (OCS) such as power substations and overhead lines which will power the streetcars.

Testing which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, requires crews to fully energize some overhead lines with up to 650-volts DC.

Officials with the CRRMA warn residents, “From this point forward, all lines should always be considered to be energized. Never touch the wires or anything touching the wires.”

During testing next week, motorists may also notice specially outfitted trucks which will ride the route with a police escort testing the wires.

OCS system testing is expected to have a minimal impact on motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

The CRRMA’s 4.8-mile route will be serviced by Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) streetcar vehicles – the same vehicles that ran on El Paso streets until 1974, and will feature 27 stops and a maintenance and storage facility.

The route runs in two loops, connecting the international bridges, retail areas, government buildings, convention center and downtown ballpark with the Las Palmas and UTEP Area.

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