Using Railroads

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of SDHO SDHO 2 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #788926
    Avatar of the-snagnasty

    Has anyone noticed these railroad tracks that terminate in Windom? I for one have never seen a train go by. The tracks head south and eventually turn west and connect with another set of tracks that run parallel to Normandale Boulevard / Highway 100.

    If converted to a bike path, this space would connect South Minneapolis to the outlying South/ South-Western ‘Burbs, and form a nearly complete loop of Minneapolis. It would look something like this.

    Even better, the tracks terminating at Windom are only a short hop from the Bryant Avenue bike boulevard. The result would encompass Downtown Minneapolis on down and split the city with 3 safe North to South routes that intersect with already existing East – West lanes and paths. It would look something like this.

    All of this is conjecture. It might not even be possible depending on railroad use, the procedure to decommission or multipurpose, money, demand, etc. But what do y’al think? Is it a project worth pursuing? Any other input?

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  • #792407
    Avatar of tlsbike

    The tracks are used every weekday to serve various industries, the part up to Windom is used by Progressive Rail and the rest by the Canadian Pacific. Also there has been talk of using the line for commuter service from Lakville in the future.

    Avatar of SDHO

    The Richfield bike master plan identifies this line (usually referred to as the Pleasant Ave rail line) as a preferred future trail route.

    I have mixed feelings on the value of this route, though the connection to Bryant bikeway is a good possibility. Personally, I’d rather see bike lanes installed on Nicollet Ave (identified by both Minneapolis and Richfield plans), or the bike lanes on Portland completed (currently a gap from 68th to 61st).

    tlsbike is right that it has been discussed as part of the Dan Patch commuter rail corridor from Northfield, through Lakeville and the immediate western suburbs of Minneapolis. However, the Pleasant Ave tracks are only an alternate choice if Edina refused to allow the train to go through their city. In any case, Dan Patch line is pretty dead, since legislators (from Edina and Bloomington) have a legal moratorium in place to prevent Mn/DOT from studying or pursuing it. Until that’s lifted, there’s really no fretting about it. And if/when it is, hopefully Edina can STFU and handle a little commuter rail.

    Avatar of SDHO

    Also, what’s the story on the bike route shown here along Fort Rd/Hwy 5 and E Old Shakopee Rd? I know there is a rail line along W Old Shakopee Rd, but nothing east towards the airport.

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