The first light-rail car for the Central Corridor line pulled into Target Field Station on Oct. 10. The arrival of the first car also marked the public debut of the light-rail system’s new branding as the Metro. Featuring a Metro-branded paint job, the new car’s LED display announced it as running the Green Line, the new name for the Central Corridor line.
The first Green Line light-rail vehicle is lighter and more energy-efficient than those running on the Hiawatha line, which will be rebranded as the Blue Line. Manufactured by Siemens in California, the interior of the new vehicles are quieter and brighter than the Blue Line cars, thanks to improved insulation and LED lighting. The new vehicles cost $3.3 million each and can carry up to 200 people and four bicycles per car at a time. The new cars will be tested on the Blue Line throughout the fall.
By the time the Green Line opens in 2014, Metro Transit will have purchased 59 of the new light rail vehicles. Of those, 47 will be used on the Green Line and 12 will be used on the Blue Line.
In her remarks during the arrival of the first Green Line car, Metropolitian Council Chair Susan Haigh praised the event as a major milestone in the development of the Metro system.
“The arrival of this American-made light-rail vehicle is a very visible symbol of the progress we’re making towards finishing the line, which was 74 percent complete by the end of August,” she said. “It will support existing jobs, create new jobs and be a catalyst for future economic growth in our region.”