First train trip down Central Corridor tracks is in the books [PHOTOS]

Categories: Transportation
centralcorridormap.jpg
Pretty soon, you'll be able to hop the train after the Twins game and head to a show at Station 4.
You won't actually be able to ride one until next summer, but the first train on the Central Corridor's tracks made its way from Minneapolis to St. Paul on Sunday.

SEE ALSO: Central Corridor undergoing redevelopment, but at what cost?

The inaugural downtown-to-downtown trip took five hours (it was pulled by a railcar mover), but things should move a little quicker once the Central Corridor is complete -- for real riders, the 11-mile trip from Target Field to the St. Paul Union Depot will stop 22 times and take 39 minutes.

Sunday's trip was to make sure the train won't hit anything around or above it while moving down the tracks.

"It went as we expected. We were very happy," Laura Baenen, media communications manager for the Central Corridor project, told the Pioneer Press. "We were confident there wouldn't be impediments, and there weren't." Well, that's good, because it'd certainly suck if it crashed into that classic Rice Street McDonald's that used to be a bank or something.

Here's a couple photos of the train pulling into downtown St. Paul on Sunday (via the Central Corridor LRT Twitter account): Construction on the nearly $1 billion project is 92 percent complete, which raises the question -- we sure this thing can't be up and running this summer?

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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55 comments
ha101
ha101

I live and work in NE MPLS and I use the bus almost everyday to get to work, the grocery store, downtown, events, and yes - even to get to St Paul. I think it's sad that ridership is expected to grow by such a small number... maybe some folks should give up their car dependency at least one day a week. Then they wouldn't be complaining about traffic on the major highways. Think about how much time you spend trying to get around via the highway in rush hour traffic... it takes me less time to get to downtown via the bus from St Paul than it does to drive. I'll gladly pay taxes for forward growth of public transit in the Twin Cities and the burbs. What's the purpose of being so negative about the project? You won't stop it from happening so you might as well embrace it and start using it. 

groundedinnerchild
groundedinnerchild

As someone who grew up outside the cities, it has never ceased to amaze me how many people from Mpls. have never been to St. Paul and vice versa. For all practical purposes, they are suburbs of each other. Hopefully, the light rail will help fix some of that.

Onan
Onan

It's too bad we dropped the trolly system in favor of buses back in the day.

keny1
keny1

Oh, and let's not forget the HUGE success that the Northstar train is. The fastest growing part of the Metro is the northern suburbs. So one would think that linking the North metro with a high speed rail line to DT Minneapolis would have been a huge success. Hardly. It's numbers of ridership is WAY below projection (they built a multi-million dollar  Park and Ride station in Fridley and you barely see any more than 10 cars parked in the lot on any given day.) The Northstar was such a dismal failure that Metro Transit reduced the fare from the Fridley station to bring in more ridership. Now there are 11 cars parked in the lot each day. LOL! 

Bottom line is this: Rail is only effective in cities where the majority of people who live in said cities work in the downtown core. This is why rail works well in cities like Chicago and New York. Minneapolis/ St. Paul is the exact OPPOSITE. The majority of the population here lives in one suburb and works in another. 


keny1
keny1

Also, I can't wait to see the death toll numbers after one year of it's service. The entire line, except for when it goes over the Washington Ave. Bridge, is at ground level. Considering the drunks late at night around the campus, Midway, and Frogtown, I bet some dipshit will be killed everyday.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

Awesome, we have a train to nowhere that provides no vital functions that a bus couldn't do.

Shawn Taylor
Shawn Taylor

Logistically it can't be done without damn near stopping traffic in the metro. Plus look how long it took to get this 11 mile stretch done.

Branden Strot
Branden Strot

no, whats laughable is that its taking so long for them to get around to building each line. also that they built it above ground.

Нина Суворова
Нина Суворова

Not 81 million users, but 81 million times the rails were -boarded- over the course of 2012. It could be 2 million users total who regularly board the rails. And yes, a .2% increase is unjustifiable for amount of spending we have invested, absolutely.

Branden Strot
Branden Strot

"they can't build 300 miles all at once" sure they can. it would be cheaper to do it now, and it would put a ton of people to work.

Branden Strot
Branden Strot

i'm excited for the entire system to be finished. in 200 years at this rate!

keny1
keny1

Why the fuck does this choo-choo train need a "media communications manager"? I suppose she gets paid $80k a year to sit on her ass and do nothing, like most of the Metro Transit management does. 

Elisabeth Morley
Elisabeth Morley

I don't work downtown, but I use the lightrail to get to events. I'm looking forward to having Minneapolis and St Paul connected!

Josh Ranta
Josh Ranta

The missing link between the Twin Cities! Bravo!

Brian McClellan
Brian McClellan

I'll ride the bus to Green line combo to get to work in downtown MPLS when not riding my bicycle to work. From talking to coworkers who ride bus or Northstar they say its a great time to read a book or listen to tunes. Naysayers tend to always whine about something and LRT is a big target to whine about.

Michael Flowers
Michael Flowers

It WILL be up and running this summer. It just won't be thoroughly checked and tested yet. So no passengers allowed till 2014.

Lindsay Neely
Lindsay Neely

Customers boarded Metro Transit buses and trains more than 81 million times in 2012 – an increase of 165,044 rides (0.2%) over 2011. Ridership on the Hiawatha light-rail line was the highest in the line’s history at 10.5 million. - Metro Transit honestly, whoever says "Who even rides the bus" obviously doesn't live in the city...

Melissa Mj
Melissa Mj

22 stops in 11 miles seems excessive.

Shawn Taylor
Shawn Taylor

Yes. Its all about the future, they can't build 300 miles all at once! In the not so near future University Avenue will once again be a destination rather than a road to get you to mlps. You are not going to see mass use of lrt until it gets to the suburbs and can take you downtown.

Jessie Loftus
Jessie Loftus

these are the most ignorant comments, I thought forward thinking people lived in the twin cities...

David Gustafson
David Gustafson

I think it's a great idea and will do fully as well as Hiawatha, which is exceeding its predictions. And I think the Southwest line -- in 2018 -- will do better than both and really start tying the Twin Cities together.

Нина Суворова
Нина Суворова

No. complete waste of state tax money. How many people ride the light rail? or even the bus for that matter? Poor choice.

Randy Bell
Randy Bell

Traffic is still fucked up on university

green23
green23 topcommenter

@keny1  Yeah, that should be interesting because nobody ever dies on freeways or roads ever.

keny1
keny1

@CinBlueland Basically $1 billion dollars was spent so that the same people who previously rode the bus will now be riding the train. 

green23
green23 topcommenter

@keny1  This project isn't all that Baenen does, dumbass. You don't have any idea what she makes, either. 

Once again, you are just making shit up, and then expecting people to get mad over imaginary outrages.

WilliamJ83
WilliamJ83

@keny1 I'm sure your real issue is that you're underpaid.  Sitting in moms basement posting anonymously about things you have no knowledge of doesn't pay well these days.  Keep your chin up bud!

Onan
Onan

@Нина Суворова Yes, an extra 210,000 trips is totally not worth it. Glad to see you'd rather have those folk in front of you crawling along in the left lane on I-35W.

keny1
keny1

@Jonathan J Potts And we should believe everything that metrotransit.org tells us? That's kind of like saying we should believe everything that MSNBC tell us.

keny1
keny1

@Shawn Taylor University Ave will once again be a destination? All due to light rail? Oh, yeah. That's what they told us about Hiawatha Ave., and we have all seen the massive business development along that road. /sarc. But they did plant those pretty flowers along the Avenue. LOL!

green23
green23 topcommenter

@Shawn Taylor Yes, it's ironic that the same people who dismiss the limited scope of this project are the same people who didn't want to do even *this* much. 

Invariably, these are the same kind of people who think that freeways cost nothing to build and maintain.

Onan
Onan

@Нина Суворова  "How many people ride the light rail? " Over 10 million trips per year. A complete and utter failure to be sure...oh, wait.

green23
green23 topcommenter

@Нина Суворова So, you don't know the numbers, but you 'know' that those numbers are small?

westley.hanson
westley.hanson

@Нина Суворова 

Lets spend the tax money on the never-ending expansion and repair of our freeways, highways, and suburban streets...That way the 9-5 masses can still sit in rush hour for the same 3 hours everyday and complain about their ignorance of the efficiency (monetary and resource) of the LRT.

Ignorance is bliss only to those who talk it, to everyone else it's annoying.

Onan
Onan

@green23 @keny1 And the Hiawatha Line sees dozens of deaths each and every day. Oh the CARNAGE!!!

Give me a break, keny1...

Onan
Onan

@keny1 @CinBlueland Operating expenses on the LRT on a per mile basis is about 60% of the cost of the same route via bus.

keny1
keny1

@green23 Oh, and you know what her entire job entails? Please enlighten us, oh Master of All Knowledge........................ 

keny1
keny1

@WilliamJ83 Just be aware that this woman's salary is paid for by tax dollars. Can you honestly give me one good reason why this train needs a media communications manager? What purpose does this position serve? To inform the media that the choo choo train didn't run into anything on it's test run?

You are obviously just another Progressive sheeple who loves higher taxes because you don't pay any.

Onan
Onan

@keny1 The numbers are corroborated by the University of MN, but you don't seem one to let pesky things like "facts" cloud your world view.

Onan
Onan

@keny1 You obviously haven't really been paying attention to what has been happening along that route. Par for the course.

keny1
keny1

@westley.hanson And the Hiawatha Line really decreased traffic on 35W, 494, and 62, right?

green23
green23 topcommenter

@keny1 @green23  Every major corporation has a communications director. It's not something that Metro Transit invented.

keny1
keny1

@green23 This is yet another example of Liberal "job creation". Steal from Peter to pay Paul.

keny1
keny1

@green23 So in other words, her job is to inform everyone how wonderful light rail is. Um....couldn't the secretary who answers the phones do that job?

Also, Metro Transit already has a director of PR who makes $106,000 a year. So it is imperative that they hire another one? Are you trying to tell me that this choo choo train could not function without the expertise of Baenen?

Keep on being spoon-fed the lies. Like I said, it's no money out of your pocket, because you don't pay a dime in taxes to begin with.

green23
green23 topcommenter

@keny1 @green23  I just googled her name and saw what other projects she's involved in. 

You know what I *didn't* do, Bob? Make a bunch of stupid assumptions, ask questions that I pretended to know the answers to, and pull a salary out of thin air. That's pretty much your stock in trade, though. And that is what supposedly makes you so much smarter than everyone else.

green23
green23 topcommenter

@keny1@WilliamJ83 

"Can you honestly give me one good reason why this train needs a media communications manager?"

Sure. Explaining to the public pretty much every fact in the article is one reason. The websites with information on the project is another. Presenting information to all of the impacted governmental units is a third reason. Her job also includes the SW rail project and the other rail projects under consideration.

"What purpose does this position serve?" 

For someone who asks a lot of questions, you sure to know all of the answers.

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