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New Central Corridor Rail to Start Rolling June 14

Updated: 01/22/2014 4:45 PM
Created: 01/22/2014 7:14 AM KSTP.com
By: Jennie Olson

The new light rail line connecting downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis will open for riders on June 14.

The 11-mile METRO Green Line will travel down University Avenue, and project managers are expecting 40,000 weekday trips by the year 2030.

The Metropolitan Council announced the opening date Wednesday. The Central Corridor route, or Green Line, originates at Union Depot in downtown St. Paul and runs through the State Capitol complex before traveling west to the University of Minnesota campus. It links up with the existing Hiawatha route, or Blue Line, on the east side of downtown Minneapolis.

The communications manager for the Central Corridor Project says we will see a lot of trains on the track in about a month as they ramp up testing.

"There’s much testing of the new light rail vehicles as well as training of the operators," Laura Baenen with the Central Corridor project said about what is left to do before the train is in operation. "Twenty light rail vehicles are still to be delivered; they’re being assembled in California and shipped here."

There are 47 new trains and the total cost for all of it comes in at $957 million, which is on budget. The federal government is covering half the costs.

A public ceremony is planned for the Saturday grand opening, as well as celebrations at several stops along the line. Rides on the both light rail lines along with metro buses will be free that first weekend.

For more information about the project, visit www.centralcorridor.org.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Courtesy of Met Council

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