METRO Light Rail will expand testing across all 20 miles of the line – including in the Midtown Museum District Neighborhood Association – starting next week.

Until now, tests have been limited to the track south of McDowell Road, in downtown Phoenix, along Washington Street and through Tempe and Mesa.

Vehicles will now begin regular testing on Central Avenue. In addition, some trains will go all the way to the end of the line in Phoenix at 19th Avenue and Montebello.

Testing primarily occurs during the day; however, in coming weeks, testing will also take place at night to simulate service.

Expect a train anytime, from either direction, according to Hillary Foose, spokeswoman for METRO. She says testing will continue to ramp up and become more recurring in the weeks leading up to the system’s grand opening on Dec. 27.

Testing will become so regular, in fact, it will appear as though METRO is in service, she said.

Each train is required to travel 1,000 miles during testing before it can be placed into regular service. Testing also helps Metro coordinate the various systems needed for light rail to run.

With trains testing at such a regular pace, Metro offers these guidelines to staying safe around light rail:

  • Light rail is quiet; look and listen for the train.
  • Obey the traffic signals; stop on red.
  • Use the crosswalks and obey all signals.
  • Stay off the trackway; never drive, bike, walk or skateboard on the tracks.
  • Stay clear of the overhead wires; they are energized.

So far, Metro has not had a serious accident. For more on how to ride and ways to be safe around light rail, visit www.metrolightrail.org.

Monday will mark 61 days to the grand opening of METRO on 27 December 2008. The Midtown Museum District is working with METRO Light Rail to help celebrate the festivities at our three METRO stations.  Stay tuned to our blog, our Twitter feed, and our website for more information as it becomes available.  If you want to be added to our e-mail list, click here and fill out the form (we will not share your information, we promise!).

Edward Jensen
Director of Communications and Internet Development
Midtown Museum District Neighborhood Association

We are delighted to send you a copy of the notes of the second meeting of the MMDNA, held at the Hilton Suites, 10 East Thomas, Phoenix. We had a well-attended meeting and our speakers included Amy Bratt from Metro Light Rail and Tom Waldeck, Executive Director of Keep Phoenix Beautiful. Click here to download a copy of the meeting notes.

Plans are being developed for a “Clean up Central Avenue” on Saturday December 13th from 7.30am to 9.30am. We will be doing this in conjunction with Keep Phoenix Beautiful. It should be a fun event and Central Avenue will look smart for the Holidays and the Light Rail launch on 27th December. If you and your friends and colleagues would like to volunteer for this please let us know at midtownmuseumdistrict@gmail.com.

We are also looking for volunteers for the Light Rail launch on Saturday 27th December and we’d love you to join your friends and neighbors and help with the event. Please contact us at midtownmuseumdistrict@gmail.com for more details on how you can be involved.

We’ll be in touch with details of the next meeting, which is planned for Wednesday November 19th 2008 at 6.30pm. An agenda will be posted on our website, http://www.midtownmuseumdistrict.org/ under the “Announcements” link on the left side.

Thank you for supporting your Neighborhood Association!

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