Light Rail Drivers Begin Practice Runs on Green Line

Updated: 02/24/2014 3:03 PM
Created: 02/24/2014 11:46 AM
By: Kate Renner

We're another step closer to having a light rail link between Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The Green Line won't be open for another three-and-a-half months, but Monday trains started making regular runs so drivers could get some practice on the new line.

Central Corridor officials say trains will run as often as every 10 minutes. So if you drive, walk or bike anywhere near the tracks, you need to be much more alert, because these trains could come at any time.

"This training period for operators, that's a training period for the public as well, to get used to seeing trains before anybody is riding them," said Laura Baenen of the Central Corridor LRT Project.

Operator training started Monday to get 120 operators used to the route, the stops, and the amount of traffic they'll be navigating through.

A lot of testing is still needed: making sure the tickets vending machines work properly, and the lights, signals, and horns work in sync with the trains.

Here's a couple safety tips as the rails get busier:

  • Cross the tracks only in designated areas
  • Never walk, bike or skateboard on the tracks
  • Listen for horns and warning bells
  • Look both ways before crossing the tracks
  • Never try to beat a train through a light, they can't swerve out of the way.

This test-run phase will last until June 14. That's when the Green Line will open.

Starting in April, you'll see trains run on a more regular test schedule from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., seven days a week.

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