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RAIL EMPLOYMENT

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9/6/2012



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Central Corridor project reaches milestone with track weld


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Yesterday, crews linked Central Corridor light-rail track to existing Hiawatha light-rail track when they welded the two lines together near the Metrodome and Cedar Riverside stations in Minneapolis, marking a milestone in the Central Corridor Light-Rail Transit (LRT) project.

“This weld is our own version of the golden spike for the transcontinental railroad, as it connects the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis,” said Mark Fuhrmann, local program director for New Starts rail projects, in a prepared statement. “By connecting the Central Corridor Green Line with the Hiawatha Blue Line, we will expand environmentally friendly, affordable transit options for the residents of St. Paul, Minneapolis and the region.”

The connection will create a 63-mile passenger-rail network for the Twin Cities: 11 miles for Central Corridor, 12 miles for Hiawatha and 40 miles for Northstar Corridor commuter rail, Fuhrmann said. The network will increase to 78 miles when the 15-mile Southwest LRT line opens in 2018.

The Central Corridor LRT project will link downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis along Washington and University avenues via the state Capitol and the University of Minnesota. Construction began in late 2010 on the planned Central Corridor line, and service is slated to begin in 2014.


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