METRO just opened the North Line extension to daily revenue service last weekend, and now comes word that the testing phase on the East End/Green Line from the EaDo/Stadium station serving BBVA Compass Stadium to the Altic/Howard Hughes station will begin in early January.
As was done on the North Line earlier this year, the initial phase will be with an unpowered rail car being pushed or towed along the tracks at no faster than five miles per hour and escorted by METRO police.
Just as was the case when the unpowered train testing was done on the North Line, the tests are to ensure there are no bends or bumps in the Green Line tracks. The workers will be checking train clearance, ensuring signals are working properly and if that isn't the case, the train is stopped and the location of the problem logged so that it can expeditiously be corrected.
Once those unpowered tests are done, then it will move to electrical wiring tests and running powered test trains on the tracks to get METRORail train operators familiar with this new section of rail before it opens for service to the East End as they complete the 9 stations and the decorative touches around them.
At the moment the Green Line opens for revenue service, METRORail will truly become a light rail system and not just one 12.8 mile long line from the south side Fannin South Station to the Northline TC/HCC one via the Med Center and downtown.
And yeah, it goes without saying, I can't wait for the Purple Line near me to open as well.
TransGriot Update: The start of the testing phase on the East End/Green Line got delayed until January 24