It may not be the sexiest part of building a 17-mile light-rail route from UNC to Alston Avenue in East Durham but it’s one of the most important: The train yard.

You need a place to fix the trains, to wash them, to put them when they’re not running.

The train yard would require 15 to 20 acres of land. Five sites are being considered for public comment, and each has its pros and cons. The Alston Avenue site, for example, could disrupt an economically fragile neighborhood in East Durham. The jobs created by the train yard would need to be balanced against the displacement of businesses and residents.

To the west, the focus is on environmental impacts to hardwood forests and streams.

The public can comment on these and other proposals about the western part of the route.

• Wednesday, March 18, 4–7 p.m., at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill

• Thursday, March 19, 4–7 p.m., at the Durham Transportation Center, 515 W. Pettigrew St., Durham

The segment from Ninth Street east to Alston is being realigned because of conflicts with the North Carolina Railroad Company. More info on that realignment is coming in May.

This article appeared in print with the headline “Light rail, heavy footprint.”