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New light rail cars for Central Corridor are sleeker, quieter and warmer

A new, improved light rail car was unveiled this week, but won’t appear until the Central Corridor line opens in 2014.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, right, and other dignitaries unveiled the new light rail cars that will run on the Central Corridor line.
Mayor Chris Coleman's office

Metro Transit has unveiled a new, improved light rail car that will run on the new Central Corridor line when it opens in 2014.

The new car, in the forefront of the picture, is said to be lighter, quieter, warmer and more energy efficient than existing cars.

The older car, in the background, runs on the existing Hiawatha light rail line in Minneapolis and Bloomington, and has been repainted with the new colors. The other Hiawatha cars will gradually be repainted with the blue and yellow, too.

There will be 47 of the new cars on what they’re calling the Green Line, the new Central Corridor route being built between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis, along University Avenue.

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Here’s Metro Transit’s description of the new cars:

Riders will notice the new METRO-brand look on the LRV exterior. Inside, the internal color scheme is gray and blue, compared with the original LRVs that are yellow and blue. Improved insulation will make the ride quieter. At 100,000 pounds, each new vehicle is 6,000 pounds lighter than an LRV in the existing Hiawatha LRT fleet. Lighter cars translate into greater efficiency because they take less electricity to operate. The new LRVs also have LED internal lighting as opposed to fluorescent lighting, also saving energy. Riders also will notice quieter, warmer rides in cold weather months because of improved insulation.