Friday, November 27, 2009

Back On Track...

...with the Twin Cities newest mode of transportation AND regular blog posts (I hope).
On November 14th, C and I drove up to Coon Rapids for the Northstar Commuter Train opening day festivities. There were activities and speakers at each of the new stations, including Big Lake at the northern end and Target Field in downtown Minneapolis at the southern end. We chose Coon Rapids as the station most likely to have free train-ride tickets available. It was a chilly day to wait outside for an hour for a chance at a ride, but we traded places for visits to the warm tent where there were a few free food samples and bottles of water given out by Coborn's and Panera.
Amy Klobuchar spoke briefly about the many years of planning and work that were spent on getting the Northstar running.
The commuter runs on the same tracks as the freight trains - as we saw when one flew past.
It's thrilling just to SEE a train station in the Metro. Having lived in Minneapolis and suburbs all my life, it's a sight seen only in movies and on trips to Europe.

Only those with tickets for the train were allowed in the station, and, as you can see by this photo from the pedestrian overpass, WE GOT TICKETS!!

Here's C with his boarding pass just before the train started up. I filmed the train arriving to pick us up, but I may need to edit it a bit before it will upload. Look for it in the next post or in the sidebar. Our short trip took us to the Target Field stop (the new home of the Minnesota Twins when it opens in April 2010), where we got off, bought some food and looked at a few train-related exhibits before boarding for our return to Coon Rapids and our car.

Regular service started Monday, November 16th. We're planning to take a round trip from Minneapolis to Big Lake some weekend to see the whole route and anticipate the day when train service is restored to ALL the major cities in Minnesota.

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