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July 15, 2009

Summer MetroLink Construction

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The Summer road construction season is here!  We are all too familiar with summer road maintenance or repaving or whatever it is they’re doing as we crawl through the Work Zone.  

The same summer maintenance happens on MetroLink and it will require single track service during many evenings and weekends so we thought we would give you a better idea of what Metro is doing to improve your trip.  In this instance, it will be particularly difficult to see exactly what was done after the work is completed.

Sections of the overhead catenary wires – which provide electricity to power the trains — are being replaced.   The trains collect the electricity through the pantograph on top of the train.  The pantograph has a carbon shoe on it that rides along the copper wire which then experiences some wear over time from that pantograph contact.  The Traction Power Electricians inspect the wire every night to determine when it needs to be replaced, and some of the wire on the original MetroLink line is ready to be replaced.  To do it properly, power must be turned off and the area cleared of trains so the maintenance crew can work safely and efficiently.   Here is our rider alert for the work being done between July 20-26 and here is the alert for the work to be done August 3-9.

One thing you will notice when we are finished is the new wire will have its shiny copper color visible for awhile.  It looks a little strange at first, but will turn black shortly with the exposure to the weather.

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