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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 Saturday, December 13, 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 Paterson Plank Road and 19th Street in Weehawken. The test area includes the future 2nd Street station stop in Hoboken on the Jersey City border, the future 9th Street station stop in Hoboken, the future Lincoln Harbor station stop in Weehawken, several rail interlockings, the bridges on Willow and Park Avenues, and the substation near Baldwin Avenue on the light rail alignment. 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 was opened to 22nd Street in Bayonne on November 15, 2003. A full opening to Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen is expected to take place in 2005.