Metro Transit recently began operating its new Northstar line, a $317 million project consisting of six stations and a 40-mile service between Big Lake and downtown Minneapolis. On its first morning in operation, 1,207 passengers boarded trains on the line.
Each Northstar train consists of a locomotive and four passenger cars and can travel at speeds up to 79 miles per hour. Passenger cars have three seating levels, work tables, electrical outlets and an on-board restroom. Each car can accommodate two bicycles and is fully accessible for persons with disabilities.
The new commuter rail service has stations at Big Lake, Elk River, Anoka, Coon Rapids-Riverdale, Fridley and Target Field in downtown Minneapolis, where passengers can connect to the Hiawatha light-rail line, which was extended four blocks to serve Northstar.
Northstar is part of the Metropolitan Council’s plan for a network of six bus and rail transitways that, by 2014, will total 115 miles in length. The project was designed and constructed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and is owned by Met Council and managed by Metro Transit, an operating division of the council.