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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Charlotte transit agency's Blue Line light-rail extension to open in March


The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) announced earlier this week that its Blue Line light-rail extension will open March 16.

Pre-revenue service testing will begin the week of Jan. 21. During testing, light-rail trains will stop at all stations and mimic passenger boarding with active crossing signals, Charlotte city officials tweeted yesterday.

The 9.3-mile extension runs from the 7th Street Station in Charlotte's Center City area to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte campus. Although the $1.1 billion project has been delayed, it remains under budget, CATS officials said on Twitter.

The extension originally was slated to open in August 2017, but the agency pushed the opening date to March due to construction coordination challenges and other issues.

In May, CATS activated the line's overhead catenary system to perform its first "live wire" test.