Track Testing To Begin On Detroit’s New Streetcar This Tuesday

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The Q-Line (formerly called M1-Rail) is starting to feel more like a real thing instead of a number of renderings on the internet.

If you’ve been downtown, in some parts you’re seeing overhead lines go in and platforms begin to appear for future stations.

Another step forward begins tomorrow when a small motorized inspection car called a “speeder” will travel on Woodward between Larned and Adams streets. The speeder, according to officials, ensures that the route is free of obstructions taking into account the physical dimensions of the vehicle and ensures proper maintenance of traffic.

“Construction progress continues on schedule,” said M-1 RAIL Chief Operations Officer Paul Childs. “Speeder tests will be ongoing over the next few weeks, eventually covering the full 6.6 mile track. It’s one of nearly 1,000 tests we’ll be going through over the course of the project.”

This is how it will go down starting at some point Tuesday morning, August 23. The motorized speeder is operated by a driver and will be flanked from both ends by safety vehicles and travel slowly along Woodward.

QLine asks that motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are asked to keep a safe distance and obey all posted traffic signs throughout testing and remaining construction. There will be intermittent street closures will be in affect as part of the testing.

Caternary wires now are suspended over Woodward near the DIA. Daily Detroit photo.
Caternary wires now are suspended over Woodward near the DIA. Daily Detroit photo.

M-1 RAIL also announced today the installation of overhead catenary wiring along the route from Warren to Ferry and Congress to Larned. While the lines are not yet active, the public is urged to treat the wire as live.

They also share to be sure to not park over the tracks.

Additional testing will continue throughout the fall, including:

  • Track power and efficiency testing
  • Track switch access for emergency vehicles
  • Electrical testing for the communications system and overhead catenary system
  • Traction power substation readiness
  • ADA compliance

QLINE construction is expected to be complete in 2016, with the project opening in early 2017 (man, that’s feeling close). Officials share the following progress updates:

  • Track installation is 83% complete
  • Station construction is over 40% complete
  • Traction Power Substations (the facilities that will power the QLINE) are nearly 40% constructed
  • Overhead Catenary System is 60% complete with 85% of the poles installed

More QLINE Coverage from Daily Detroit:

Penske Tech Center Opens For Detroit’s Streetcar Line

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