The 2015 13th National Light Rail & Streetcar Conference, co-sponsored by APTA and TRB, is scheduled for November 15-17, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency, 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN. The theme of the conference is “Transforming Urban Areas.”

Presentations from the conference are now available.

Please note that this schedule is preliminary and subject to change.

Last updated November 12, 2015


8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Great Lakes Promenade,
Fourth Floor
Cedar Lake,
Fourth Floor 
– Conference Registration Desk
– Host Information Desk
– TRB Information Desk
– TCRP Information Desk
Conference bags sponsored by WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff
parsons brinckerhoff wsp new.jpg
Lanyards sponsored by Herzog Transit Services, Inc.
– Moderators/Speakers Room
8 – 9:30 a.m.
Lake Minnetonka,
Fourth Floor

 APTA Streetcar Subcommittee Meeting

​12 – 4 p.m.

​Tour of Minneapolis Streetcar Museum (on your own)

The Minneapolis Streetcar Museum operates the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, which includes a mile of the original line that was abandoned in 1954. The streetcars are 100+ years old and were built by Twin City Rapid Transit. The streetcar fare is $2.

By Bus: From the Hyatt Regency, walk north one block to 12th Street. Turn left on 12th Street and walk four blocks to Hennepin Avenue. Catch any Route 6 bus headed south (to your left), which run every 15 minutes. The fare is $1.75. The trip takes about 20 minutes. Get off at the first stop next to Lake Calhoun. The streetcar stops across the street, and runs about every 20 minutes.

By Car: LaSalle Avenue runs behind the Hyatt Regency. Take LaSalle to 36th Street. Turn right on 36th to Lake Calhoun. Turn left at Lake Calhoun and you’ll see the trolley tracks. You can park there or continue to William Berry Road and turn left. Follow Berry Road to Lake Harriet and look for the depot to the right of the bandshell and refectory.

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Great Lakes Promenade,
Fourth Floor

Opening Reception

Enjoy the hospitality of our opening reception. Meet old and new friends and network with your transit industry peers while examining the displays in the showcase. There’s no better way to keep up with what’s happening than the informal, relaxed ambiance of the opening reception – the official conference kickoff.

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Great Lakes Promenade,
Fourth Floor

Light Rail & Streetcar Products and Services Showcase

Back by popular demand! The manufacturers, suppliers, and consultants to the light rail and streetcar industry are coming together to display their products and showcase their services. We are sure you’ll enjoy walking the aisles and speaking with representatives of these companies to find out more about how they can help solve your particular problems or provide just what you need. As we envision an influx of new funding and new projects, our vendors will play a crucial role in our vision to expand light rail and streetcar service. Stop by and learn what new technologies are on the horizon. And, you don’t have to leave to attend the opening reception – it’s in the same room.

Thank You To Our Exhibitors

ALSTOM Transportation, Table 25 
– Altro Transflor, Table 9
– American Traction Systems, Table 23
– Apollo Video Technology, Table 1
– BAE Batteries USA, Table 20
– Bode North America, Inc., Table 14
– Brookville Equipment Corp, Table 18
– CAF USA, Inc., Table 21
– CJ Geo, Table 16
– Daktronics, Table 13
– Digi International, Table 12
– FAAC Incorporated, Table 19
– Irwin Transportation Products, Table 4
– KLD Labs, Inc., Table 24
– Los Angeles County Metropolitan 
  Transportation Authority, Table 2
– Penn Machine Co., Table 10
– Protran Technology, Table 15
– The Reinforced Earth Company,Table 3
– Rugged Coatings, Table 17
– Siemens Industry, Inc., Table 6
– Sportworks Northwest, Inc., Table 7
– TDG Transit Design Group, Table 8
– Thales Transport & Security, Inc., Table 5
– Vossloh North America, Table 22
– Zen Industrial Services LLC, Table 11

7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Great Lakes Promenade,
Fourth FloorCedar Lake,
Fourth Floor 
– Conference Registration Desk
– Host Information Desk
– TRB Information Desk
– TCRP Information Desk
– Moderators/Speakers Room
7 – 7:30 a.m.
Great Lakes Promenade,
Fourth Floor

Continental Breakfast

Continental Breakfast sponsored by Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.


7:45 – 9 a.m.
Great Lakes C, Fourth Floor


This is where it all starts for the joint conference. We have included many perspectives on the light rail and street car industry around the country. Hear from the Mayor of Minneapolis about her vision for rail transit in the region. Also hear about future innovative projects as seen by leaders at APTA and TRB, and the status of light rail projects in North America.

John D. Wilkins, Chair, 13th National Light Rail & Streetcar Conference Planning Committee, and former Director of Capital Planning and Programming, New Jersey Transit Corporation, Gillette, NJ

Sponsor Recognition
Michael S. Townes, Vice Chair, APTA Business Member Government Affairs Committee, and Senior Vice President/National Transit Market Sector Leader, HNTB Corporation, Hampton, VA

Status of North American LRT & Streetcar Systems
John Schumann, Senior Transportation Consultant-On Call, LTK Engineering Services, Portland, OR

Ted Rosenbaum, Senior Consultant, LTK Engineering Services, San Francisco, CA

Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commissioner and Chair, Counties Transit Improvement Board, Minneapolis, MN

Brian J. Lamb, General Manager, Metro Transit, Minneapolis, MN

Neil Pedersen, Executive Director, Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC

Kathryn D. Waters, Executive Vice President – Member Services, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC

Honorable Elizabeth “Betsy” A. Hodges, Mayor, Minneapolis, MN

General Session sponsored by HNTB Corporation


9:15 – 10:45 a.m.

Great Lakes C, 
Fourth Floor 

Complete Streets

Complete streets policies, requiring that roadway designers consider the needs of all users,are increasingly being adopted in states, towns, and communities. Complete streets are credited with improving safety, providing environmental benefits, improving public health, revitalizing communities, and improving quality of life. Much of the focus has been on incorporating facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists. On the rare occasions when transit is considered, the assumption is that transit means buses. But to be “complete,” these streets need to accommodate vehicles on rails. Light rail and streetcars require consideration of additional factors. How best are these modes incorporated into complete streets? What unique factors need to be considered?

Monica J. Meade, Supervising Planner, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, Baltimore, MD

Get Ready! Get Safety! Go! – Improving Safetyin Street-Running Environments through Pre-Construction
Analysis and Design

Kevin Jones, Systems Safety Manager, Parsons Transportation Group, Houston, TX

Trucks, Pedestrians, and Bicycles – Oh My! Improving Safety in Street Running and Mixed Use Environments
Walter Heinrich, Director of Safety, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Houston, TX

Inserting Streetcars in Pedestrians Areas:French Examples
Dominque Bertrand, Director of Studies of Urban Integration, Center-East Territory, Lyon, France

A Proposed Design Alternative for Inserting Dedicated Light Rail Transit Lanes and Other Facilities
in a Constrained Arterial
Lyndon Henry, Transportation Planning Consultant,RAILWAY AGE, Austin, TX

 9:15 – 10:45 a.m.

Lake Superior A&B,
Fifth Floor

State of the Art in Vehicles (LRT & Streetcar)

Starting with a synopsis of North American LRV and streetcar procurements over the last three years, this session presents solutions for several aspects of vehicle design, itemizes the growing list of technological advancements in alternative power supplies, and closes with a summary of real-world applications of one such approach, on board energy storage systems, in operation, in development, and planned streetcar projects in several U.S. cities.

Thomas B. Furmaniak, P.E., Chair, APTA Light Rail Transit Technical Forum; Vice Chair, 13th National Light Rail & Streetcar Conference Planning Committee; Senior Director, LTK Engineering Services; and Managing Director, NDYLTK Rail, Sydney, Australia

North American LRV/Streetcar Procurements… since we last met
Thomas B. Furmaniak, P.E.

Ergonomics and Visibility in Tramways Driver’s Cab

Alexandra Guesset, Engineer, Tramway Department, Technique des Remontées Mécaniques et des Transports Guidés (STRMTG), Saint-Martin-d’Hères, France

A Workable Solution for Conflicting Crashworthiness Requirements
Glenn Gough, Systems Engineer, Vehicle Structure & Calculations, Siemens Industry, Inc., Sacramento, CA

State-of-the-Art in Light Rail Alternative Power Supplies

John Smatlak, Senior Consultant, Interfleet Technology Inc., Los Angeles, CA

John Swanson, Principal Consultant, Interfleet Technology Inc., Oceanside, CA

Onboard Energy Storage System Applications on Streetcar Projects
Jason M. Krause, P.E., Senior Engineer, LTK Engineering Services, Portland, OR

11 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

Lake Superior A&B,
Fifth Floor

Ensuring LRT & Streetcar Safety

Thissession deals with the safety approach of light rail and streetcar systems,both from the point of view of the collection of data about accidents thathappen to learn about their causes, and from the point of view of improving thelayout design in order to develop a safer system. Presentations include perspectivesfrom practice both in the United States and Europe.

Pamela Fischhaber, Chief of Rail/TransitSafety, Colorado Public Utilities Commission, Denver, CO

Margarita Novales, Associate Professor, Railways and Transportation Group, University of A Coruña, Spain

Advancing Safety Rule Compliance: ProactiveSafety Management through Simplified Data Analysis
Brian P. Dwyer, Senior Transportation Planner, Associate, STV Incorporated, Boston, MA
Michael Wiedecker, Director, Operations Training, Maryland Transit Administration, Baltimore, MD
LRT Safety: How are Pedestrians Involved?
Marine Millot, Head of Urban Road,Urban Safety and Lighting Section, CEREMA, Aix-en-Provence, France
Safety Management in Europe an LRT Systems:Some Tools for Collecting and Using Accident Data
Dominique Bertrand, Senior Advisor, CEREMA, Lyon, France
Getting a Safer LRT through Better Design ofits Insertion in Public Space
Margarita Novales

11 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.

Great Lakes C, 
Fourth Floor 

Lessons Learned: The Price of Compromise

Funding even the needed elements of a start-up LRT system, before considering those elements desired by the operator and/or the community, is always a challenge. Compromises are inevitable to get a system up and running, and sometimes those compromises end up “kicking the can down the road.” This session relates the experiences of three systems –  Sacramento, Baltimore, and Denver – and the lessons each learned, sometimes from its preceding “start-up” as it expanded to meet service and community needs. Wrapping up the session, host system Metro Transit relates the lessons learned as it developed procedures to respond to community requests for additional access to its Blue and Green Lines in metropolitan Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Stephanie Eiler, Former Principal Transportation Planner and Vice President, CH2M, Minneapolis, MN

Compromise: A Necessary Element of Sacramento’s LRT “Starter Line”

John Schumann, Senior Transportation Consultant-On Call, LTK Engineering Services, Portland, OR

Double-Tracking Baltimore’s Light Rail Transit System
Vernon G. Hartsock, PMP, Deputy Director, Engineering and Construction, Maryland Transit Administration, Baltimore, MD
Matthew Pollack, PE, PMP, Vice President, Southeast Division, HNTB Corporation, Baltimore, MD
Denver RTD’s Central Rail Corridor Capacity Improvements
Eric Miller, Senior Rail Service Planner/Scheduler, Regional Transportation District, Denver, CO
To Infill or Not to InFill: That is the Question
Mark Fuhrmann, Deputy General Manager, Transit System Development, Metro Transit, St. Louis Park, MN
MarySue Able, P.E., Deputy Project Director, Blue Line Extension, Metro Transit, Crystal, MN
Session sponsored by AECOM  aecom.jpg
12:45 – 2:15 p.m.

Great Lakes A&B, 
Fourth Floor 

Strategies & Tactics to Achieve Rapid Network Implementation

Thomas B. Furmaniak, P.E., Chair, APTA Light Rail Transit Technical Forum; Vice Chair, 13th National Light Rail & Streetcar Conference Planning Committee; Senior Director, LTK Engineering Services; and Managing Director, NDYLTK Rail, Sydney, Australia

Sponsor Recognition
Kenneth P. Westbrook, Chairman, Transit Division & President, Rail Division, Transdev North America, Lombard, IL

Aaron Isaacs, Transit Historian and Former Employee, Metro Transit, Minneapolis, MN

Adam Duininck, Chair, Metropolitan Council, St. Paul, MN

General Luncheon sponsored by Transdev North Americatransdev new.jpg

2:30 – 4 p.m.

Great Lakes C, 
Fourth Floor 

Procurement Strategies for LRT & Streetcar Systems

The speakers will discuss the strategies used for LRT & Streetcar procurements, such as Design-Bid-Build, Design-Bid and Constriction Management/General Contractor. Each presenter will give a short overview of one of the strategies, followed by a panel discussion responding to questions from the moderator and audience.

Harvey Berliner, Principal Consultant, HDR, Atlanta, GA

LRT Design-Bid-Build (DBB)
Dan Heller
, Vice President, T.Y. Lin International, Inc., Tempe, AZ

LRT Design-Build (DB)
Doug Jackson, Vice President of Transportation, WSB and Associates, Inc., Minneapolis, MN

LRT Construction
Mike Robertson, Owner, M.L. Robertson, LLC., Salt Lake City, UT

– Experiences and Lessons Learned from the Maryland Purple Line Project
– Streetcar Procurement Strategies
Gregory P. Benz
, Senior Vice President, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, Baltimore, MD

2:30 – 4 p.m.

Lake Superior A&B,
Fifth Floor

Insertion of Streetcars and LRTs in Urban Street Environments

With light rail transit already implemented along many under-utilized and abandoned rail corridors, metropolitan areas are increasingly looking to “insert” new rail lines directly into streets. This session will examine both historical and contemporary examples of how different urban areas in the U.S. and internationally have used the “insertion” approach to bring light rail transit into a variety of environments successfully. Speakers will focus on solutions to both physical and operational constraints.


Jason Lee, Project Manager, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco, CA

Downtown Distribution for Light Rail Transit: Past, Present and Future

John Allen, Independent Transportation Consultant, Chicago, IL

Transit Signal Priority for LRT in a Complex Urban Environment
Dan Soler, P.E., Blue Line Extension Project Manager, Metro Transit, Minneapolis, MN

JoNette Kuhnau, PE, PTOE, Project Manager, Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., St. Paul, MN

Expanding MetroLink throughTown Centers, Residential, and Urban Environments Across Greater Manchester
Dr. Jon Lamonte, Chief Executive, Transport for Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

Liz West, MetroLink Stakeholder Manager, Transport for Greater Manchester/WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, Manchester, UK

And They Said it Couldn’t Be Done: Insertion of the Purple Line
Monica J. Meade, Supervising Planner, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, Baltimore, MD
4 :15 – 5:45 p.m.

Great Lakes C, 
Fourth Floor 

LRT & Streetcar Developments in Canada

LRT is on the move in Canada. Calgary and Edmonton continue to expand their networks, and a new fleet is entering revenue service in Toronto. Elsewhere in Ontario “new start” projects are underway in suburban Toronto, Ottawa, Ketchener/Waterloo, and Hamilton.

John Watkins, Senior Consultant, LTK Engineering Services, Toronto, ON

Seamless Mobility: The Design of Interchange Stations on the New Eglinton Crosstown LRT Line in Toronto
Americo Gonzalez, Senior Architect and Project Manager, HDR, Toronto, ON

ION Project Update
Thomas Schmidt, Commissioner, Transportation and Evnironmental Services, Regional Municipality of Waterloo, ON

Ottawa LRT System Confederation Line (P3 Project)
Shormila Chatterjee, P.Eng., Project Engineer, SNC-Lavalin Inc., Vancouver, BC

4:15 – 5:45 p.m.

Lake Superior A&B,
Fifth Floor

State of Good Repair

In North America, and indeed worldwide, light rail, streetcar, and tram transportation is experiencing a true renaissance. Maintaining State of Good Repair (SGR) of these systems as they age requires an ongoing process of condition assessment, regular monitoring, system maintenance, and renewal. Moreover, this involves a broad mix of assets, including infrastructure, rolling stock, and other important supporting systems. SGR is defined as the availability of assets in a condition suitable for the purpose for which they were intended.  This session will cover some of the successful SGR activities and challenges that have been addressed in North America. Recent asset condition and end of asset life reporting requirements the FTA has established for transit properties to be eligible for federal funding will also be discussed.

Tom O’Brien, Director of Business Development, KLD Labs, Inc., Hauppauge, NY

San Diego Trolley Renewal Program

John W. Haggerty, Director Rail Development, San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego, CA

SFMTA State of Good Repair Program – Twin Peaks Tunnel Trackway Improvement Project

Chuck Morganson, P.E., Associate Vice President, Senior Project Manager, HNTB Corporation, San Francisco, CA

Tess Kavanagh, Project Manager, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco, CA

Want Your Money? What You Need to Know about Metrics for SGR with Regard to FTA Funding

Martin P. Schroeder, M.S.M.E., P.E., Chief Technology Officer, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC

Impact of the Winter of 2015: Lessons the MBTA Learned for Maintaining State of Good Repair
William McClellan, Assistant General Manager of Rail Operations, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Boston, MA
Kimberly Woollard, Deputy Director of Light Rail Vehicle Maintenance & Engineering, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Boston, MA

​7 – 7:30 p.m.

Great Lakes C,
Fourth Floor

Minneapolis Streetcar Alignment
A presentation of the proposed Minneapolis Streetcar Alignment on Nicollet Avenue across the river to NE Minneapolis.Presenter
Nathan Koster, AICP, Transportation Planner, City of Minneapolis, MN

Session sponsored by AECOM

7:30 – 9 p.m.

Great Lakes C, 
Fourth Floor 

Open Forum

Bring your own 15 minute presentations regarding LRT and streetcar projects.
James H. Graebner, Chair Emeritus, APTA Streetcar Subcommmittee, and President, Lomarado Group, Denver, CO

7 – 11:15 a.m.

Great Lakes Promenade,
Fourth Floor

Cedar Lake,
Fourth Floor 

– Conference Registration Desk
– Host Information Desk
– TRB Information Desk
– TCRP Information Desk
– Moderators/Speakers Room

7 – 7:45 a.m.

Great Lakes Promenade,
Fourth Floor

Continental Breakfast

 Continental Breakfast sponsored by RATP Dev America


​7:15 – 7:45 a.m.

Lake Harriet,
Fourth Floor

​Conference Planning Committee Meeting

8 – 9:30 a.m.

Great Lakes B, 
Fourth Floor 

LRT in the Total Transit System

LRT lines work best when integrated and coordinated with a region’s other transit service, whether rail or bus or both. This session will examine the integration of new LRT lines into the fabric of an existing transit system in areas such as route network, schedules, fares; and coordination of radial, circumferential, and crosstowns routings.

John Schumann, Senior Transportation Consultant-On Call, LTK Engineering Services, Portland, OR

Network Restructuring Around New High Capacity Service
Ken Zatarain, Director of Service Delivery, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, Portland, OR

Integration of METRO Blue and Green Lines with Buses
John Dillery, Senior Transit Planner, Metro Transit, Minneapolis, MN

Importance of Bus Connections to Light Rail Accessibility Gains
Andrew Guthrie, Research Fellow, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Light Rail Hubs in a Multimodal Transport Environment
Martin Smoliner, Research Associate, Institute of Railway Engineering & Transport Economy, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria

Streetcar Institutional Models: A Comparison of Experience with Transit Coordination
Christopher Kopp, AICP, CTP, Transportation Planning Manager, HNTB Corporation, Chicago, IL

8 – 9:30 a.m.

Great Lakes A1-A3, 
Fourth Floor 

Infrastructure Developments

This session is a review of current issues and developments in light rail infrastructure design and implementation. Learn more about the latest in track design, traffic signal priority, structures, and conceptual planning guidelines for new LRT systems.

Wulf Grote, P.E., Director, Planning & Accessible Transit, Valley Metro, Phoenix, AZ

Block Rail – Current Best Practices and Experiences on Recent Projects

Lucas L. Olson, P.E., Regional Streetcar Director, HDR Corporation, Minneapolis, MN

Transit Signal Priority Implementation In Phoenix
Jay Yenerich, P.E., Manager of Design, Valley Metro, Phoenix, AZ
LRT Structures
Jim Alexander, P.E., Director, Transit System Design & Engineering, Southwest LRT Project, Metro Transit,
St. Louis Park, MN
Developing Infrastructure-Relevent Guidelines for Preliminary Conceptual Planning of a New Light Rail Transit System
Lyndon Henry, Transportation Planning Consultant, RAILWAY AGE, Austin, TX

Session sponsored by AECOM

9.45 -11:15 a.m.

Great Lakes C, 
Fourth Floor 

Successful Streetcar Design in Motorized Cities: Best Practices from Western and Eastern Europe

This plenary session examines recent thought on how large streetcar systems should adapt to serving regions where private ownership of automobiles has become, or will become, pervasive. We have three speakers intimately knowledgeable with these issues, one from western Europe and two from central Europe. Each will address recent experiences from their region, offering a case study of a major city as an illustration. We also have a discussant familiar with overall urban transport development in Europe who will tie the three presentations together.

Dr. Michal Jaroszynski, Transportation Researcher, Department of Urban & Regional Planning, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Welcome and Introductions
Dr. Gregory L. Thompson, Chair, TRB Light Rail Transit Committee, and Professor Emeritus, Transportation Planning, Department of Urban & Regional Planning, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

RandstadRail, an Integrated Light Rail and Metro System in the Metropolitan Region Rotterdam – The Hague
Leonardus H. Haring, Vice Chair, UITP LRT Committee, and Director, HRL Consultancy, The Hague, The Netherlands

The Key Directions of the Modernization of Tram Systems in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC)
Gradimir Stefanovic, Managing Director, GS Transport Consultancy Ltd., London, United Kingdom

Integrated Urban Mobility Plans: A Key of LRT Systems Survival and Renaissance
Dr. István Csuzi, General Manager, Oradea Transport Local S.A., Oradea, Romania

Lessons for Public Policy
Dr. Michal Jaroszynski

12 – 4 p.m.

Metro Transit Operations & Urban Development

Be sure to take advantage of the technical tours provided by our host, Metro Transit. Please sign up at the host information desk for the tour of your choice. The tours depart from the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Hotel at 12 noon.


Metro Transit’s Hiawatha O&M Facility
Get a behind-the-scenes tour of the first Operations and Maintenance Facility constructed for LRT at Metro Transit. It continues to serve as the primary location for LRV running repair, heavy overhauls, and paint & body work. It also serves as a storage facility for up to 48 LRVs. In addition to maintenance activities and personnel, it is home to more than five dozen train operators, is the primary hub for light rail administrative staff, and the primary location of Metro Transit’s Rail Control Center (RCC). The tour will include stops and staff overviews within all of these areas.

Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
The Metro Blue Line serves both terminals at MSP 24 hours a day and was recently recognized as the best “transit to downtown” connection in the U.S. Come and hear from Metro Transit staff about how both LRT and bus transit was integrated into the airport for both travelers and the hundreds of workers who are spared from parking on site. Terminal 1 is served by an underground tunnel whereas Terminal 2 is at ground level  Staff will explain some of the challenges Metro Transit faces with a deep tunnel in the region’s climate. Staff is working with airport officials to get a behind the scenes tour of some of the facilities.


Union Depot and St. Paul’s LRV Maintenance Facility
The St. Paul Union Depot is a historic location, which is now serving as the eastern terminus of the Green Line. Metro Transit staff will show how they have worked with Ramsey County to demonstrate how transit has been integrated into the remodeling plans that took place in the late 2000’s. Plans include a local and over the road bus terminal right below the passenger waiting areas. Also hear about the return of Amtrak passenger service to this historic depot in downtown St. Paul.

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