15 Members of the Phoenix Life Member Affinity Group (LMAG) toured the Arizona Valley Metro Lite Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility on 7 November 2022.

phoenix tour of light rail

The two-hour tour was led by Debby and Shannon, who were joined by two electrical engineers who discussed train & system operation. The rail system has 28 substations (about every mile) connected to the utility grid. The cars are powered by 825 VDC, which is converted to AC on the trains using variable frequency for speed control.  Cars have a battery backup to carry them through electrical gaps and can cover about 28 miles on batteries if necessary. Older cars have lead-acid batteries, while new units use Lithium-ion systems. The operations center monitors numerous video cameras on the cars, platforms, and parking lots for unusual activity.