After years of construction and preparation work: there’s now a tangible sign of light rail transit in Waterloo Region.

An Ion light rail vehicle was taken out of the Dutton Drive storage facility Tuesday morning and towed along a section of track in north Waterloo.

Although the vehicle was not running under its own power, towing it along the track was enough to determine things like whether the track and overhead wires had been installed correctly and whether platforms at the various stops are level.

Several months’ work of testing is required before the vehicles start carrying passengers. Passenger service along the 19-kilometre Ion route is expected to start next spring.

The vehicle is expected to be brought out against on Wednesday, this time running along the northbound track from Erb and Caroline streets to Northfield Drive.

Before long, it will start running under its own power – first at slow speeds similar to Tuesday’s 5 km/h, before eventually ramping up to 70 km/h on the faster parts of the route.

With reporting by Stu Gooden