First Public MetroRail Ride

Today about 200 people got to ride Capital MetroRail as part of our testing. It was the first ride offered to people outside of Capital Metro, except for the news media, and so it was an especially happy event for us.

Today was the second of two days of passenger simulation testing. The engineers got a feel for how the train handles when it’s full, as well as practice boarding and deboarding passengers at the stations.

Yesterday, Capital Metro employees played the part of passengers and got on and off the train at each station along the line. The staff were testing the timings of the stops in relation to the full schedule.

4 thoughts on “First Public MetroRail Ride

  1. Don Dickson

    Mmmm….new train smell!

    The stations and the cars are very handsome, and the cars are very, very comfortable. I really liked the tray tables — I don't know why all the seats don't have them.

    We got up a pretty good head of steam in several places along the route, but the ride was very smooth at all times.

    I think a few of the stations may need more shade than they have now. And someone needs to fix the tower clock at the Leander station — at 8:45 a.m. it was displaying 2:55. Telling time seems to be a systemic problem for CM; the clock at the Tech Ridge P&R is never right, and many of the buses continue to display incorrect time. To be fair, the electronic displays on the train platforms did display the correct time, and also offered next-departure information.

    Everyone will be pleased to hear that all the crossing gates were down throughout the trip. We did see one guy walking along the right-of-way, and we also spotted numerous deer…let's hope the fences and the bells and whistles are enough to keep them off the tracks!

    It was a great ride. Thanks for inviting me!

  2. Life. Complicated.

    Don – Glad you had a great time!

    CapMetro – What is up next on the steps to getting the rest of us on the train?

  3. Don Dickson

    I'll also offer this comment on behalf of everyone who neither lives nor works along this new train route.

    I didn't see much of anything going on in the immediate vicinity of these stations, and perhaps it's premature. But eventually that is going to have to happen. There's a very large HEB-Plus near Leander Station, but not near enough to warrant taking the train to purchase stuff there. The same for Lakeline Station and Lakeline Mall. The key is to offer a quick and reliable way to get from the platform to an actual destination nearby. You might very well get HEB and/or the Lakeline tenants to pay for or at least to make a substantial contribution toward the cost of "courtesy transportation" between the platforms and these nearby destinations. That would MAKE them destinations for people like me, who don't really have any other reason to be traveling along the Red Line.

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