Although it will only travel at five kilometers an hour for a distance of less than two kilometers, Cuenca’s Tranvía de los Cuatro Rios officially takes to the tracks for a two-hour test this morning.
The single unit will move from the train yard at Unidad Nacional and Av. Mexico to Av. Las Americas and move north to the Feria Libre market before returning to the yard.
According to Cuenca transportation director Gerard Fernandez, who manages the tram project, today’s test will check out the train’s braking system, track stability, electrical connections with overhead cables, as well as other systems. The tram will carry only one passenger, an engineer. Next week, he said, another test will carry several passengers.
Cuenca’s citizen guard will be out in force this morning to keep vehicular traffic and pedestrians out of the area of the test, which begins at 7 a.m. “We are doing this early in the morning to have miniumum disruption of traffic,” Fernandez said.
“The train units have already been tested in France before they were shipped, but some of parts were disassembled and reassembled so we need to conduct the testing again,” he said. “We also need to test our own tracks and electrical system.”
Cuenca Security Council Romulo Montalvo chief will also participate in the test. “The tram cars are very heavy and cannot stop as quickly as buses,” he said. “I’m looking at ways to control traffic that crosses the tram tracks.” He said that each tram car weighs five times as much as a city bus.