Charlie Scott and John D. Thomas of WMATA were at this month’s NCPCA meeting to present Metro’s proposed plan to build new test tracks.
The tracks will be built between Greenbelt and College Park Metro rail stations and the commissioning facility at the Greenbelt rail track.
They said WMATA has recently placed an order for 428 new rail cars. A test track would cut in half the time required to place the new rail cars into revenue service.
They said of 106 miles of rail corridor owned by WMATA, 46.3 miles are at-grade. For practical purposes the test track needs to be built at grade.
They said only Green line between College Park and Greenbelt station meets the criteria for the test track. Environmental analyses of each facility are being conducted in accordance with FTA criteria.
Construction to begin in the Spring of 2012. Test tracks are scheduled for completion by late summer of 2013 and commissioning facility to be completed in early CY14. The total budget for the project is estimated as $88.3 million.