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Electrifying progress: Overhead wires for KC streetcar line will be powered up for testing

The overhead wires for Kansas City’s new streetcar line downtown will be electrified starting Wednesday.
The overhead wires for Kansas City’s new streetcar line downtown will be electrified starting Wednesday. File photo

Progress on Kansas City’s streetcar line is looking up this week — specifically, to its overhead power lines.

Wednesday morning, workers will begin powering up the lines, another indication that the project is moving from construction to operation. The lines will be tested throughout the week and then considered “hot” and electrified from then on, according to a release Monday from the Kansas City Streetcar Authority.

Next week, the first streetcar should arrive and be tested off the tracks. Residents should see it being tested along the line in November.

Some other figures about the electric lines:

▪ There will be more than 24,000 feet of overhead and underground wires.

▪ The wires will be electrified by 750 volts of direct current.

▪ Four Kansas City Power & Light substations will help supply the power, three along Main Street near Union Station, Truman Road and Sixth Street, and one at Third and Holmes.

Once the lines are electrified, anyone doing construction or maintenance work along or near the route will have to follow special “track access” city permit and training processes. Besides Main Street, parts of Third and Fifth streets and Grand and Delaware will be affected. More information on the track access areas and procedures can be found at www.kcstreetcar.org.

“These wires are now electrified and considered extremely dangerous if touched,” said Tom Gerend, executive director of the KC Streetcar Authority. “... The public and surrounding properties should use caution when around these wires.”

Greg Hack: 816-234-4439, @GregHack

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