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Northstar Commuter Rail, Minneapolis, Minnesota


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Northstar commuter rail, Minneapolis, MN
MetroTransit, a service of the Metropolitan Council


Area lighting for train station platforms – new construction


122 BetaLED® area round luminaires with type v optics installed at six train station platforms:

  • Target Field Station, Downtown Minneapolis – 11 luminaires
  • Fridley Station – 8 luminaires
  • Coon Rapids Riverdale Station – 28 luminaires
  • Anoka Station – 30 luminaires
  • Elk River Station – 30 luminaires
  • Big Lake Station – 15 luminaires


  • Significant energy savings compared to originally specifiedT6 G12 pulse start metal halide fixtures.
  • Reduced maintenance compared to metal halide fixtures.
  • Competitive cost compared to traditional lighting technology.

MetroTransit, a service of the Metropolitan Council
Railway commuters, public officials seeing “green” with BetaLED

MetroTransit, a service of Minnesota’s Metropolitan Council, owns and operates Northstar Commuter Rail, the state’s first commuter rail service.The rapid transit trains service the congested and fast growing northern area of theTwin Cities and provide an important link to a broader transit network that includes a new arterial bus system.

Six train station platforms spanning 40 miles from downtown Minneapolis to Big Lake, Minn. are illuminated with BetaLED round area luminaires on 15-foot spider mount posts.The three-light bar luminaires with Type V distribution at 350mA achieve the project criteria of providing two foot candles minimum illumination at the edge of the platform tactile strip for safe visibility.

According to Luma Sales Associates, BetaLED luminaires were specified for the project because reducing energy and maintenance were major concerns.The connected load was very low for the BetaLED luminaires in contrast toT6 G12 pulse start metal halide fixtures that were specified.The 79-total-system-watt BetaLED luminaires provide significant energy savings and reduced maintenance compared to the 150-watt (189-total system watt) metal halide fixtures. According to MP Consultants, a Plymouth, Minn.-based lighting agency, BetaLED area round luminaires were compared to metal halide fixtures and were selected based on a life cycle cost analysis.

“We were excited to learn that we could install a comparable priced LED lighting solution instead of metal halide.The BetaLED luminaires meet the same lighting performance standards as the traditional technology that was initially specified.The platforms are well lit – we haven’t received any complaints,” stated Chris Weyer, Assistant Director of Design and Construction for Metro Transit.

After twelve years of work, Northstar Commuter Rail began service from Big Lake station to downtown Minneapolis in November 2009.Northstar is a joint effort of the Minnesota Department of Transportation,Northstar Corridor Development Authority, and the Metropolitan Council.The $320 million cost is shared by the state and federal governments, the regional rail authorities for Anoka, Hennepin and Sherburne Counties, the Metropolitan Council and the Minnesota Twins. MetroTransit’s public policy on transportation forecasts rail ridership to double by 2030 with the new transitway development.

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