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Just got this press release. East and Southeast Tracks Tested with Trains This giant diesel-powered tow truck can operate on tracks, or on pavement. It is used when electrical current is not available to power a train. METRORail’s new East End (Green) Line tracks have been undergoing tests performed while dragging a light-rail vehicle up and down the track with a diesel-powered-shuttle. The test covers 2.3 miles of the 3.3 mile tracks. Crews are also performing live wire testing. The Southeast Line is also expecting visits from the train and its crews beginning Wednesday, Feb. 5. The train will be towed by the big, red shuttle wagon from an area near EaDo/Stadium Station (Texas at Bastrop in front of the BBVA Compass Stadium), to the Palm Center Transit Center to inspect curb height and other elements such as sign placement. The light-rail vehicle is transported much like a barge being led by a pilot boat, since electric power remains to be activated on these two evolving lines. Large sections of Styrofoam are often attached to provide a buffer in tight corners and places where obstructions are observed. Measurements are then taken and corrective action initiated. Public safety, particularly at intersections, is a top concern. Trains are being towed with assistance from METRO Police, and drivers and pedestrians are urged to take extra precaution in the area. The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is wrapping up major light-rail expansion - adding 15.3 miles and 24 stations to its existing Main Street (Red) Line. The North (Red) extension opened in December 2013, and the East End (Green) and Southeast (Purple) lines will start service later this year. About the East End (Green) Line The 3.3-mile East End Line (Green Line) travels along Harrisburg through the historic East End to a variety of downtown entertainment and business destinations. Track that is closest to downtown will be shared with the Southeast (Purple) Line. From EaDo/Stadium station, passengers will be able to transfer to the Southeast Line and travel to the UH Central campus and Texas Southern University as well as Palm Center Transit Center. East End Line riders may board at Central Station Main for travel up or down the Main Street (Red) Line. About the Southeast (Purple) Line The Southeast Line (Purple Line) begins downtown and travels southeast along Capitol and Rusk to the Palm Center near MLK and Griggs. The 6.6- mile line travels through one of Houston's oldest African-American communities and connects to Texas Southern University and the University of Houston. The last portion of the track, shared with the East End Line (Green Line), will enable riders to transfer at the EaDo/Stadium station to travel through the historic East End. Riders can also continue to Central Station Main to transfer to the Red Line for travel up or down Main Street.
Got this press release in the e-mail today. ------------------------------ METRORail Construction Nearly Halfway East End Line Station Construction Now Underway Construction progress for three new METRO light-rail lines is more than 45 percent complete and expected to end in time for 2014 service dates. Station construction is already underway for the first three rail stations on the East End (Green) Line - which will connect to the existing Main St. (Red) Line. Station progress was at eight percent on February 20, 2012 and includes work on EaDO/Stadium Station, Lockwood/Eastwood Station, and the Coffee Plant/Second Ward Station. “We’ve achieved a noteworthy landmark on this major undertaking for Houston’s future,” said David Couch, senior vice president, capital programs, METRO and director of the METRORail expansion project. “Light rail is transforming the city with economical, fast, safe and environmentally-friendly transit options. We are excited to see this progress.” The stations are a contemporary design, with steel beam columns supporting a glass canopy. The EaDo/Stadium Station is located at Texas and Bastrop, in front of the BBVA Compass Stadium where the Houston Dynamos are set to begin playing this May. The station’s center platform design allows riders to board from either side. On Harrisburg, the Lockwood/Eastwood Station platform is taking shape with two separate platforms, one for each direction. Construction has also begun on the Coffee Plant/Second Ward Station between York and Hutcheson. METRORail’s Central Station Main, which will be located at Main Street and Rusk, will feature its own unique architectural style to showcase its’ prominence. Arts in Transit METRORail’s Arts in Transit program will transform new stations into art landscapes. Each station will showcase unique and original art from 22 artists, including 20 from the Houston area. “The Arts in Transit program brings art to each station that reflects the character of its surrounding neighborhood,” said Couch. “This program enriches our communities with a wide variety of art that enhances the appearance of the stations.” With artwork from local artist Dan Havel, the EaDo/Stadium Station will include original designs that celebrate Houston’s sports teams: the Texans, Astros, Dynamos and Rockets. “The windscreen images depict a moment during all the games where a catch is made, reflecting the concept of the public using the METRO light-rail station to catch the trains or catch the action at a nearby game,” said Havel. The Lockwood/Eastwood Station will feature artwork of starling birds from Ryan Geiger. Painting from his studio in Houston’s Eastwood neighborhood, Geigerdraws inspiration from the birds that inhabit his inner-city yard. “My desire is to illuminate the Lockwood/Eastwood station with the beauty that I find just a half a block away,” said Geiger.