Thursday, August 18, 2011

Norfolk begins celebrating The Tide

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Norfolk begins celebrating The Tide Railway Age photo by Joseph M. Calisi

Hampton Roads Transit and the city of Norfolk, Va., Thursday evening began celebrating the debut of the 7.4-mile, $318 million light rail line with a ribbon-cutting ceremony near MacArthur Square to mark the occasion (photo at left).

A demonstration run followed. Friday will include a full agenda of events and celebrations to mark the official “Opening Day,” with festivities that will stretch through the weekend.

Safety will remain a concern following two incidents, on August 12 and again on August 17, at 2nd Street and Brambleton Avenue prior to the line’s opening, in which automobiles hit LRT cars while in test operation. No one has been injured seriously.

HRT and Norfolk have conducted a safety campaign highlighting The Tide’s debut in recent weeks.

Revenue operations will commence Monday, August 22. Nine Siemens S70 cars will provide service every 7.5 minutes at peak hours, every 15 minutes off-peak, and every half-hour during late evenings and on weekends.