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It's been sneaking around in the dark for months, but Canberrans were given a rare glimpse of the tram during daylight hours yesterday as transport authorities moved to a new phase of light rail testing.
Daytime testing began on a small section of the network last week in Gungahlin, and by October, Canberrans can expect to see trams performing end-to-end tests of the network.
There's even plans to deliberately derail a tram in October to see how emergency services respond to such a crisis.
As the new vehicles were being tested on Flemington Road on Wednesday, one Canberran drove past beeping his car horn.
"Hey, it works," he said.
Transport Canberra hopes to get Canberrans light rail ready with September looking to be a big month, featuring several key milestones.
Project director Meghan Oldfield said these included the completion of the tracks, the arrival of the remaining three trams and the installation of overhead wiring.
Canberra’s light rail has commenced daytime testing on Flemington Road in Gungahlin.
Photo: Karleen MinneyMs Oldfield said daytime testing on the light rail could now take place as there was less construction work.
Transport Canberra had been conducting high speed braking tests on the network and drivers were trained to spot hazards.
So far there had been no collisions or near misses as the trams were being tested in Gungahlin.
"We do look at everything that will come up," Ms Oldfield said.
"One of the things that's most important is making sure all of the safety elements are really thoroughly and appropriately communicated."
Ms Oldfield warned the light rail vehicles were quiet and travelled at speeds up to 70km/h.
"You just need to make sure you cross at the designated crossings, follow the signals; you can't walk up and down the trackway," she said.
"You need to be just aware of your surroundings: don't cross the tracks with loud headphones on, pay attention to the people around you."
This article first appeared on www.canberratimes.com.au
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