Central Corridor light rail car passes clearance test

  • Updated: April 28, 2013 - 10:19 PM
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LRV being towed through the intersection of 11th and Cedar, heading south on the Cedar Street bridge over Interstate 94 toward the Tenth Street Station in St. Paul.

Photo: ., Central Corridor LRT Project

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The first Central Corridor light rail train was towed between Minneapolis and St. Paul on Sunday in a test to see if it would clear all structures along the 10 miles of new tracks.

The test went well, all clearances were made and the procedure was finished in about 5 hours instead of the expected 8 to 12, said Laura Baenen, spokeswoman for the project.

The Central Corridor light rail line connects Minneapolis and St. Paul along Washington and University avenues, going past the State Capitol and University of Minnesota. Construction of the project began in 2010 and the route is expected to open in 2014.

The train car was towed for the test because the overhead electrical grid that will power the trains has not yet been electrified.

The rail car was towed at walking speed from Minneapolis to the line’s new operations and maintenance facility in St. Paul.

The car is scheduled to return to Minneapolis on Wednesday.

A Hiawatha light rail car will also be towed on the tracks to St. Paul on Thursday in another test.

Later this year, once the line is electrified, light rail trains will begin regular test runs, Baenen said. “The outcome of the tests will help determine the line’s opening date in mid-2014.”

The project is now 92 percent complete.

Laurie Blake

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