A railcar mover that resembles a semitrailer cab is towing a new Green Line LRV at walking speed on the tracks from Minneapolis to the new operations and maintenance facility in St. Paul. The trip should take eight to 12 hours.
The purpose is to verify clearance for the LRVs.
“This is a standard requirement before starting integrated testing later this year,” said Rick Carey, senior project manager for vehicles for the Central Corridor LRT Project.
The return move to Minneapolis is planned for Wednesday. One of the Blue Line (Hiawatha) LRVs will also be towed to St. Paul on Thursday so it can be tested on the hoists inside the operations and maintenance facility. Its return trip is planned for Saturday to Minneapolis. Towing the LRVs is necessary because crews are still installing the wires and the rest of the systems to electrify the line.
Metro Transit police will accompany the LRVs to help them get through the intersections on the 10 miles of new track. Several Metro Transit employees from operations and project office inspectors and others will walk alongside the LRVs, while someone from operations will be inside the LRV to operate the brake system.
The LRVs will be towed inside the nearly completed operations and maintenance facility in St. Paul. PCL Construction Services, which built the operations and maintenance facility, will raise and lower the Blue Line LRV on the hoists to make sure they are working as designed.
Before the clearance verification was conducted, a large truck outfitted with attachments that are the same dimensions as the LRVs traveled along the tracks last week to simulate a train. This pre-verification was done to ensure the new LRVs can traverse the corridor without any impediments.
In late 2013, once the systems work is completed electrifying the line, the new Green Line LRVs will begin regular test runs, again with only Metro Transit staffers onboard. The outcome of the tests will help determine the line’s opening date in mid-2014. Overall construction of the project is now 92 percent complete.
A campaign is underway to educate the public about safety around the Green Line. The Green Line Safety page features the project's first safety video.
About the Green Line (Central Corridor LRT Project)
The Green Line (Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Project) will link downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis along Washington and University avenues via the state Capitol and University of Minnesota. Construction began in 2010 on the planned 11-mile Central Corridor line, and service will begin in mid-2014. The line will connect with the Hiawatha LRT line at the Metrodome station in Minneapolis and the Northstar commuter rail line at Target Field Station. The Metropolitan Council is the grantee of federal funds. The regional government agency is charged with building the line in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The Central Corridor Management Committee, which includes the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis, commissioners from Ramsey and Hennepin counties and the University of Minnesota, provides advice and oversight. Funding is provided by the Federal Transit Administration, Counties Transit Improvement Board, state of Minnesota, Ramsey and Hennepin counties’ regional railroad authorities, city of St. Paul, Metropolitan Council and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.
Central Corridor LRT Project