Blue Line (Hiawatha LRT)

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Blue Line (Hiawatha LRT)

Postby mulad » June 8th, 2012, 11:27 am

Just starting a Hiawatha thread again since we had one before.

Anyone know the status of the addition to the Franklin Avenue shops? The last time I was over there, it looked like the track hadn't been installed for the 4 new storage bays (I presume they're storage bays...).

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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby pfreyre » June 10th, 2012, 8:22 pm

Just as an FYI to everyone who uses The Hiawatha/Blue Line, there are still three full weekend closures between Target Field and Franklin Ave scheduled for later this summer for track and signal work to connect to the Green Line. They will happen on between 6:30PM - 3:30AM from Friday through Monday on the following days:

June 22-25
July 20-23
Aug. 3-6

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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby Wedgeguy » June 11th, 2012, 7:37 am

The tracks have been laid and they have tore down the wall in between the addition and the old building. They still have to install the interchange locks for switching track. to the new addition. My friend who is a Light rail operator say that they are about 80% finished at this point.

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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby MSPtoMKE » June 20th, 2012, 10:14 pm

They will have to be finished fairly soon, the first of the new Siemens LRVs will begin to arrive in August. I am not sure what the storage capacity for the OMF was before the expansion, but I am sure it would be full soon if not for the expansion. I wouldn't imagine the St. Paul facility would be ready for LRVs until sometime next year at the earliest.
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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby LRV Op Dude » July 7th, 2012, 2:54 pm

MSPtoMKE wrote:They will have to be finished fairly soon, the first of the new Siemens LRVs will begin to arrive in August. I am not sure what the storage capacity for the OMF was before the expansion, but I am sure it would be full soon if not for the expansion. I wouldn't imagine the St. Paul facility would be ready for LRVs until sometime next year at the earliest.
I would assume that the addition will be ready by end of the year. The delivery schedule has 1 LRV coming in Aug. Than 1 LRV in Sept and 2 in Dec. There will be 38 LRVs will be delivered in 2013 and 15 in 2014
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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby Lancestar2 » July 8th, 2012, 12:50 am

Does anybody have any information or renderings of what the new Vikings LRT station will look like?

With the extra traffic due to transfers (Downtown St. Paul to MOA) I'm guessing they would like the station to be in a different configuration than the "low traffic level" stations.

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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby Wedgeguy » July 8th, 2012, 3:06 pm

I'll ask my friend who is an LRT driver what the staus is on the Hiawatha plant expansion. I know he said they are working on putting in the interlocks to be able to switch tracks. I'd say they will be ready by fall and that they will have St. Paul ready before the delivery dates of those trains.

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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby LRV Op Dude » July 9th, 2012, 9:13 pm

MSPtoMKE wrote:They will have to be finished fairly soon, the first of the new Siemens LRVs will begin to arrive in August. I am not sure what the storage capacity for the OMF was before the expansion, but I am sure it would be full soon if not for the expansion. I wouldn't imagine the St. Paul facility would be ready for LRVs until sometime next year at the earliest.

I would assume that the addition will be ready by end of the year. The delivery schedule has 1 LRV coming in Aug. Than 1 LRV in Sept and 2 in Dec. There will be 38 LRVs will be delivered in 2013 and 15 in 2014

Here some pictures of the track work and storage expansion

O & M Expansion
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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby MSPtoMKE » July 9th, 2012, 11:00 pm

Thanks for the update. They seem to be changing the bay numbering, with the old doors labeled S-1 to S-4, buT the new doors labeled in the teens. Any idea why?
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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby mattaudio » July 10th, 2012, 8:56 am

Lancestar2 wrote:Does anybody have any information or renderings of what the new Vikings LRT station will look like?

With the extra traffic due to transfers (Downtown St. Paul to MOA) I'm guessing they would like the station to be in a different configuration than the "low traffic level" stations.
I don't think there are any changes to the Metrodome station as part of the CC project, but there might be enhancements as part of the Vikings Stadium (excuse me, ahem, Peoples' Stadium :lol: ) but they are not defined yet.

I'd like to see a center platform added so the center platform would facilitate cross-platform transfers, but the side platforms are probably also needed to handle the rush of people after games.

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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby LRV Op Dude » July 10th, 2012, 12:02 pm

by mulad
I'd like to see a center platform added so the center platform would facilitate cross-platform transfers, but the side platforms are probably also needed to handle the rush of people after games.
I would like to see both. Use the center platform for day to day service and the side platform for events at the stadium.
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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby LRV Op Dude » July 14th, 2012, 11:06 am

Metro Transit is starting to tear out the railings at Nicollet Mal Station and Warehouse Station. The platform will be replaced at next weekend shutdown

The pavers will be replaced with concrete. Apparently that the pavers are not holding up very well and are expensive to replace
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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby mulad » July 14th, 2012, 11:59 am

That's a disappointment. I've definitely noticed some Hiawatha platforms have some very bleached-looking bricks, though I guess I hadn't seen an inordinately high level of damage. I had noticed that the new Green Line platforms don't seem to have any pavers, though it's hard to tell whether they'll all be that way since they're at varying levels of completeness.

Downtown Saint Paul does a decent job of maintaining their brick roadways, though certainly some parts are better than others. Any word on whether more platforms will get the same treatment? If only a few stations have to lose the pavers in order just to get the budget in line, I guess that's alright, but it'd be frustrating if they all turned to concrete.

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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby seanrichardryan » July 14th, 2012, 4:29 pm

Frustrating for what reason? Do you want affordable rail transit or pork barrel perks. I would take another LRT line without artist designed and ' experiencial' stations if it meant keeping it within a reasonable budget. The CCLRT seems to have streamlined station design for ease of maintenance and system-wide continuity, and I appreciate that more.
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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby mulad » July 14th, 2012, 5:31 pm

It's just endemic of the penny-pinching that has driven a dumbing-down of pedestrian space for the past several decades. I feel that the brick makes the space much friendlier since there are often patterns to draw the eye and there's a tactile sense to them underfoot. Plus, my gut tells me they help with traction in icy winter conditions and probably help slow down cyclists and skaters.

Concrete is just very antiseptic most of the time and makes spaces less welcoming. It's cheaper, but how many people will decide to never come back again after visiting once? How many will get bored more quickly while waiting and decide to use transit less and less? The cumulative effect of layers of blandness being applied to our public realm over time has helped keep automotive transportation so dominant. Concrete can be shaped into anything, so there's no reason why it has to suck. I'm hoping for the best, but we'll see.

Yes, Hiawatha went a bit overboard with making almost all of the stations unique. Some elements work better than others -- my most hated bits of artwork have always been the little audio-visual boxes that play sounds. Amusing for the first three seconds or something, but mostly just really annoying after that (tinny-sounding speakers are partly to blame).

I don't know what it costs to do a platform in brick versus something else, but we might get a little guidance from the art budget for the Central Corridor -- $2.8 million, according to one source I found. That's 0.3% of the budget, practically imperceptible under the noise of inflation and cost overruns/underruns elsewhere in the project.

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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby MSPtoMKE » July 14th, 2012, 10:00 pm

Yes, 0.3% for Art does not seem unreasonable to me at all. For example, I know Sound Transit in Seattle has a policy to spend 1% of the budget for public art, and that is for all their projects, not just light rail. I do believe that attractive stations can be an asset to the community and perhaps make some people more comfortable about taking transit. That said, they have to be in good repair for the same reasons. I would also guess that the money for brick pavers probably did not come out of the public art budget, but was added as some sort of betterment above the base price. I too dislike the little audio-visual box art that is at many of Hiawatha's stations, I have to wonder how much of it is still functional. I don't think any of the Green Line stations feature anything like that.
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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby UptownSport » August 12th, 2012, 11:10 am

Saw a man driving down tracks between Gov't stop and Nicollet.
Several pedestrians were waving and yelling that he was on tracks.

I wonder how often this occurs, and how much (as street/track are in common for miles) on the Central?

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Re: Hiawatha Line (Blue Line)

Postby MSPtoMKE » August 12th, 2012, 4:52 pm

UptownSport wrote:Saw a man driving down tracks between Gov't stop and Nicollet.
Several pedestrians were waving and yelling that he was on tracks.

I wonder how often this occurs, and how much (as street/track are in common for miles) on the Central?
I have seen it happen as well. Back when Warehouse District/Hennepin was the end of the line with a large train barricade at the end of the tracks, I saw a car drive on the tracks that were right up against the sidewalk on the north side. They reached the end and had to back up in order to get out. It was a good thing a train didn't show up while they were on the tracks, they would have gotten stuck.

I would think that it would be pretty obvious that the tracks of the new Green Line are not to be driven on, but I am sure it will happen from time to time. It may cause a brief delay, but I wouldn't think a collision would be any more likely than at an intersection.
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby web » August 13th, 2012, 9:26 pm

in sacramento there is a lot of street running shared lanes. no you don't get stuck etc etc
msp is so late to the game its like its unique, but it isn't

same as san diego with many miles of shared lanes also houston and salt lake etc etc etc

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby NickP » August 14th, 2012, 8:20 am

I think what MSP was referring to is that on the Hiawatha line, there is no street running shared lanes. While the rails may be in the road, they do not share lanes with automobiles, etc. If one were to drive on the rails, it would be difficult to switch back to car lanes as they are separated.


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