The light rail trains ready to run between Minneapolis and St. Paul are well insulated, energy efficient and can add power back to the line for other trains to use, Metro Transit officials said Tuesday.
The new trains were built with lighter, high-strength steel to make them more efficient than older trains, John Humphrey, Metro Transit deputy chief operations officer for rail operations, said as he gave an Earth Day tour of the Green Line's operations and maintenance building in St. Paul's Lowertown.
The trains will feature interior lighting that uses half the electricity of older models, and they can also convert braking energy into electricity that can be channeled to other trains, he added.
The $49.4 million Lowertown building is also energy efficient. It places the office sections of the building in the center to minimize extra use of heating and cooling and features automated lighting and HVAC systems, said Metro Transit spokesman John Siqveland.
Metro Transit spent $8.8 million to make the Lowertown operation energy efficient; Siqveland said the energy savings generated will pay for the investment by the end of the year.
The Green Line is set to open June 14.