Austin commuter rail
construction set to start
Austin’s Capital Metro’s commuter rail gamble passed a critical green light last week, and the $90 million project is about to get underway.
The 32-mile commuter rail line runs from Leander to downtown Austin, KVUE Austin reported last week. To operate the line, the public transit agency has committed to spending $34 million to buy six coaches and powercars. They are sleek with a sloping bullet nose at both ends. Stadler Rail AG of Switzerland is building the first train, and it will be in Austin in less than 12 months.
“We are on time, on budget, and looking for 2008,” said Andrea Lofye, Capital Metro spokesperson.Test runs of the trains are expected in October 2007. If all goes well, according to Lofye, the final roll out schedule could be adjusted. Initial service, when it begins in 2008, will be during the morning and evening rush hours. Trains will run every 30 minutes. It’s estimated that a trip from Leander to downtown will take about an hour.