Crews began testing the new Central Corridor light-rail line Thursday morning by using a railcar mover to pull a light-rail car through the University of Minnesota campus.

The test involved making two passes through campus from the West Bank Station to the station at Stadium Village and back.

A gas leak at the old Sally's Saloon in Stadium Village early Thursday afternoon delayed the final return trip by 15 minutes.

Fire crews briefly blocked the intersection of Oak Street and Washington Avenue, and a couple of people were evacuated from the building at 712 Washington Avenue, said CenterPoint Energy spokeswoman Becca Virden. There were no injuries

Virden said the leak happend because crews doing demolition work at the eatery began pulling copper wire out of the building before the gas line was shut off. 

Aside from the delay, Central Corridor LRT spokeswoman Laura Baenen said Thursday's test went smoothly.

The bigger test will happen Thursday night when a light rail train will make the trip on its own by drawing power from the overhead lines. That will happen sometime after sunset, Baenen said.

Officials will conduct more tests on campus beginning Aug. 5. Testing along the rest of the line that runs from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul via University Avenue will begin later this summer or early fall, Baenen said.

When it opens in mid-2014, the train will be called the Metro Green Line.


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