Day, night testing along light rail track starts next week

The consortium behind Canberra's light rail project will start testing the light rail vehicles at both day and night along the route from Gungahlin to the city from next Tuesday.

A notice sent out to residents along Northbourne Avenue shows testing of the trams will start from Tuesday next week, every day, as well as some nights between 9pm and 5am -the first time many will get to see the vehicles actually operating along the thoroughfare.

Light rail vehicle testing will start on Tuesday along the entire stage one route. Photo: Karleen Minney

Light rail vehicle testing will start on Tuesday along the entire stage one route. Photo: Karleen Minney

The pre-operational testing will ensure the vehicles will be safe for passenger travel along the entire route, after testing in Gungahlin and along Flemington Road last year, ahead of the planned operations start date in April.

The consortium and emergency services in December also tested the response to a potential crash on the light rail route in a drill, and testing is set to continue for weeks after tests scheduled for early 2018 were delayed until June.

Testing trips are likely to start at low speeds along the Mitchell to city part of the route, similar to those tests already completed along the Gungahlin to Mitchell corridor, though will eventually ramp up to the 70km/h speeds expected to carry passengers during operations.

Canberra Metro, the joint venture running the project, wrot

e to residents saying it appreciated the continued patience of people

and the support of the community during the testing period.

The notice also showed there would be traffic management and detours along the route during the first few days of testing, but the trams would be operating under T-lights, as has been the case in Gungahlin.

It said some of the testing activity would be noisy, but the team would try to limit any impacts on residents along the route wherever possible.

The notice also warned that traffic light patterns at intersections along the route were changing and urged everyone to stay alert, pay close attention to traffic light signals, not attempt to run red lights and wait for green lights before proceeding.

The government could not confirm exactly how long testing would continue, or whether it would be continuous during the day and after dark.