A light rail vehicle could start running along part of the 19-kilometre Ion track as soon as next week.

Officials with the Region of Waterloo say Oct. 19 is the anticipated start date of on-track testing for the vehicle which arrived in the region late last month.

While that vehicle was the second to be sent here by manufacturer Bombardier, it was the first to arrive in working order.

The first vehicle showed up in February, but has sat in a maintenance facility in north Waterloo ever since, awaiting more work from Bombardier before it can be taken out.

Initial testing is expected to take place in Waterloo exclusively, between Dutton Drive and the intersection of Erb and Caroline Streets. Eventually, the testing will expand to cover the entire route.

Two more functional Ion vehicles are expected to arrive in Waterloo Region by the end of the month, with passenger service scheduled to start next spring.