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NJ TRANSIT and 21st Century Rail Corporation have reached another milestone in the continuing expansion of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system.

On Monday, September 29, the light rail system’s newly installed catenary wires – overhead electrical wires that power Hudson-Bergen Light Rail vehicles – will be energized for testing between the viaduct on Grove Street in Jersey City and north across Paterson Plank Road and New York Avenue, up to the south side of the future 2nd Street station stop in Hoboken on the Jersey City border. The test area includes the substation near Marin Boulevard and grade crossings on Paterson Plank Road and New York Avenue. The catenary wires are powered with 750 volts of electricity and should be considered energized at all times.

As construction, installation and electrification of the overhead wire system continues, the public is reminded to exercise extreme caution around the light rail system. Contractors working near the light rail alignment also must comply with the High-Voltage Proximity Act, which requires that cranes and other construction equipment be kept at least six feet away from high voltage lines.

Other safety precautions when walking or driving near Hudson-Bergen Light Rail tracks are:

Cross light rail tracks only at designated areas such as sidewalk or street crossings.

Do not use the tracks as a shortcut.

Do not place foreign objects on the tracks or in the catenary wires.

Do not go near the catenary wires.

Stay away from substations and fences.

Observe all traffic signals and grade crossing protection devices at street intersections.

Obey all signs.

Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists must be careful when approaching intersections crossed by the light rail system.

Currently, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail serves 16 stations between 34th Street in Bayonne and Hoboken Terminal, and between West Side Avenue in Jersey City and Hoboken Terminal.

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service will be opened to 22nd Street in Bayonne later this year. A full opening to Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen is expected to take place in 2005.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily trips on 240 bus routes, two light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 28 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.