Houston Metro's new East End (Green) Line tracks have been undergoing tests by dragging a light-rail vehicle up and down the track with a diesel-powered-shuttle, and crews have been performing live-wiring testing. The test covers 2.3 miles of the 3.3-mile tracks.
The Southeast (Purple) Line also started undergoing tests February 5 where the train is towed by the 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.
Houston Metro is wrapping up a 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.