Reporting Edgar Linares
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The new light rail train that will carry passengers from St. Paul to Minneapolis is undergoing testing along the Hiawatha light rail line.
On Wednesday, Metro Transit gave city leaders and transit workers a sneak peek.
The new $3.3 million train is made by Siemens in their Sacramento, Calif., plant. Metro Transit says the new train is more energy efficient.
“This one is quite a bit lighter,” said Rick Carrey, Central Corridor project manager for vehicles. “It’s going to use a lot less energy to rundown the line.”
The train has LED lights and improved insulation throughout the cab. It also has a new front-end crash management system, which improves safety for passengers and the operator. It can also fit up to 200 passengers, fully loaded.
“It also has a higher capacity heater to keep passengers warmer in the winter,” Carrey said.
The new train will undergo months of testing before it will go into operation along the Hiawatha line before it moves to the Central Corridor in 2014.
“There’s about 1,000 specification changes between this car and cars that are running along the Hiawatha line today,” said John Siqveland, a Metro Transit spokesman.
When the Central Corridor light rail line opens in 2014 it will operate as the “Green Line” and the Hiawatha will be rebranded as the “Blue Line.”
“There will also be rapid bus lines that go to the southern suburbs that will be the Red and Orange lines,” said Siqveland. “The Twins Cities transit system will take on more of that international feel.”