Light-rail work 'on time and on budget'


The state's 27-mile light-rail system -- which will link Hunt Valley to Glen Burnie and include a stop at the city's new baseball stadium at Camden Yards -- is "on time, on schedule and on budget," state transportation officials said today.

To show off the progress of the transportation system, Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Mass Transit Administration officials today displayed the first of 111 chassis that will hold the light-rail cars.

The light-rail system, which will have 25 stops in the city, Baltimore County and northern Anne Arundel County, is scheduled for completion next spring -- in time for opening day at the new stadium in 1992.

The chassis, called trucks, were produced at AAI Corp., the Hunt Valley manufacturer of mechanical and electronic systems. AAI is under contract to a New Jersey car manufacturer to produce the trucks.

John Rolfes, program manager for transportation equipment at AAI, said production work is to be completed in October. Work began last March.

"We are very happy with the progress so far," Rolfes said, adding that test runs are scheduled to begin soon. "It's supposed to be quiet and fast."

The light-rail cars are being produced in Trenton, N.J., by ABB Traction.

Helen L. Dale, an MTA spokeswoman, said completion of the downtown track work is expected in May. Then, passenger stations will be installed.

"By October, we hope to be finished all of the work on Howard Street," Dale said.

Dale said the light-rail system should be a boon for businesses along Howard Street and be an accessible and affordable means of transportation for city residents to get to jobs in Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties.

The system, which MTA officials said can mix with automobile traffic on city streets as well as travel on elevated tracks, will travel at an average speed of 35 mph.

Service will be provided every 15 minutes from either 5 a.m. or 6 a.m until 11 p.m. or midnight on weekdays, MTA officials said.

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