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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hampton Roads, Va., light Rail stations to be completed this summer

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The Norfolk Light Rail station at Norfolk State University is one of 11 Light Rail stations that will run on the 7.4 miles of track from Eastern Virginia Medical School to Newtown Road, local media report. It's the only station that will sit high above city streets and will have an elevator for passengers.

"This platform is going to have a canopy right over here and a ticket vending machine so you can buy a ticket to ride the train," said Tom Holden, HRT.

Once the stations are complete, HRT officials say the next stop will be getting the cables connected to the poles to power the trains.

"Once the wires are strung the process of connecting the wires to the traction power sub station begins and then you will see trains moving on a test basis throughout the city," Holden said.

Testing the trains is something HRT officials are excited about because they have already started hiring employees who will drive the trains.

Holden added, "We have brought in some of the nations most experienced Light Rail operators. Hampton Roads Transit has created a new division within its organization to run Light Rail."

While it may be a year or so before people hear the sounds of a working Light Rail in downtown Norfolk, HRT officials say they believe they have made significant progress to keep this project on track.

The Light Rail stations will be complete this summer. HRT officials say the Light Rail project itself is on track and will be ready to ride in May of next year.

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