LTK’s involvement with light rail transit in the Twin Cities extends back to 1985. The firm assisted in developing LRT systems plans for the Twin Cities by conducting a series of studies that defined “starter lines” in individual corridors. Several routes were identified as having good potential for LRT, including a corridor in Hennepin County radiating from downtown Minneapolis and one penetrating the core of St Paul. As part of developing a comprehensive LRT plan for the County, LTK completed tasks involving operational analyses and systems engineering. The firm was responsible for a feasibility analysis of LRV options including low-floor LRVs, car lengths, maximum train lengths and vehicle operating parameters. LTK staff developed design criteria, which became the blue print for the PE and final design.
Separate contracts with the Minnesota Department of Transportation as well as Hennepin and Ramsey counties, covered all systems elements, including LRVs, LRT signal system, traction electrification, communications and central control, system wide electrical, fare collection, yard and shop design, and maintenance support equipment during preliminary engineering for both the Hiawatha and Central Corridors. LTK developed operating and maintenance plans, performed corrosion control analyses and prepared cost estimates for all elements.
LTK assisted in the preparation of Design Build contract documents for the design, implementation and construction of the Hiawatha LRT Corridor, a 12.5-mile line using a combination of street operation, exclusive ROW operation and tunnel operation. LTK was responsible for all systems elements including systems integration, signals, communications, central control, TWC, traction substations, overhead contact system, system wide electrical, yard and shop facilities and maintenance equipment. The firm also was responsible for two major elements outside the Design Build contract, the procurement of 34 low-floor light rail vehicles and the planning and implementing of a comprehensive regional fare collection plan including LRT, bus and commuter rail. Associated with this project, but under contract to the Metropolitan Airports Commission, LTK supported the detailed design of tunnel electrical/transit facilities and provided detailed corrosion control design assistance.