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Streetcar rails are installed in downtown Detroit, August 22, 2016. Daily Detroit photo.

Detroit hasn’t had a streetcar in a long, long time. More than half a century. Soon, we’re going to be able to see them going down Detroit’s central street once again.

Word this week is that the QLINE reached an important milestone today as construction crews welded the final pieces of rail, completing installation and connection of what is 6.6 miles of track (as it’s technically a 3.3 mile loop) on Woodward Avenue.

“Today marks the end of QLINE track construction,” said M-1 RAIL CEO Matt Cullen. “We’re entering a new phase of the project that will see Woodward Ave. reopened to traffic and QLINE cars soon making their first appearance on the track for training and testing.”

According to M-1 Rail officials, Chief Operating Officer Paul Childs directed construction crews to begin the final weld at 12:30 p.m. to complete connection of the route.

There have been more than 1,000 total thermite welds since September 2014 when construction began. The process requires a crew of up to ten people including four welders and two operators.

“Our team has worked seven days a week, rain or shine, to keep QLINE construction on schedule,” said Childs.  “We’ve installed 34,000 feet of track, nearly 400,000 lbs. of rebar and poured over 12,000 yards of concrete to date. We want to thank the residents and business owners along the route who have worked with us every step of the way. Construction is close to completion.”

America’s Thanksgiving Parade down Woodward Avenue is just around the corner on Thanksgiving morning, and officials say the QLINE remains on schedule to reopen Woodward Avenue in time for the event.

If you want to know more about the streetcar specifications, we were there when the first one was delivered and have video.

By the way, if you’re looking for a job, hiring for streetcar operators and maintenance technicians has begun. The deadline to apply is November 23, 2016. For more information, visit the M-1 RAIL’s website.