Author: Eric Ecklund

About Eric Ecklund

Eric has lived in Bloomington his whole life (besides 4 months studying in Oslo, Norway). With a Bachelors in Urban Studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, his future career is in transportation planning and he is heavily invested in Twin Cities transit from trying different bus routes to continuously examining how to improve the transit network in the Twin Cities.

Rail-with-Trails of the Twin Cities

In my previous post I discussed rail-trails, which are abandoned railroad right-of-ways repurposed as trails. The Twin Cities has many of these, but the region also has several so-called rail-with-trail corridors. Rail-with-trails are trails alongside active rail lines. They provide a safe path for people, deterring trespassing on railroad property while still allowing train movements, […]

Rail-Trails of the Twin Cities

For several decades, railroads have abandoned many miles of track in the United States due to several factors including redundant routes, bankruptcies, mergers and significant government investment in roads that made shipping freight by rail less competitive than by truck. While some railroad right-of-ways have disappeared from redevelopment, others have been converted to trails that […]

Amtrak’s Empire Builder: The Train that Deserves Better

Amtrak’s Empire Builder, the only intercity rail service in Minnesota, will be reduced from daily to tri-weekly service beginning in October due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. I decided to take it one more time before the cuts went into effect, as there’s no way of knowing how long it’ll be before daily […]

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Old Shakopee and 98th: From Death Road to Multimodal Corridor

The Old ShakopeeRoad/98th Street Corridor is one of the east-west thoroughfares of Bloomington. It’s also an outdated roadway. Several segments are a four-lane death road, the sidewalks are narrow and buckling, and traffic typically goes 5 to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. The route has several high-traffic destinations, including the Mall of […]

Mn Regional Rail Routes

A Comprehensive Transit Overhaul for the Twin Cities: Part III

This is the final entry of a three-part series detailing the rapid transit and regional rail requirements for the Twin Cities to become a transit-oriented, climate-neutral metropolitan region. The prior two weeks looked at rail rapid transit and bus rapid transit, respectively. This article will focus on regional rail in the Twin Cities and Greater […]

A Comprehensive Transit Overhaul for the Twin Cities: Part II

This is the second of a three-part series detailing the rapid transit and regional rail requirements for the Twin Cities to become a transit-oriented, climate-neutral metropolitan region. Last week covered rail rapid transit. Today’s entry focuses on bus rapid transit, while next week the final article will look at regional rail. The previous rapid transit and […]

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A Comprehensive Transit Overhaul for the Twin Cities: Part I

This is the first of a three-part series, published today and the next two Mondays, detailing the rapid transit and regional rail requirements for the Twin Cities to become a transit-oriented, climate-neutral metropolitan region. Today’s entry focuses on rail rapid transit. Next week will cover bus rapid transit, while the final article will look at […]

Moa Station

The New(er) Mall of America Station: A Temporary Solution

Most of my trips to the Mall of America aren’t to the actual mall but rather to the transit station for getting on a bus or train. For over half a year, however, I’ve made an effort to avoid using Mall of America Station, going so far as to walk from 28th Avenue Station to […]

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Will Target Field Station Ever be a Rail Hub?

St. Paul Union Depot is a natural choice as a regional and intercity rail hub for St. Paul as the station is already in use and there’s plenty of room to expand when needed. However, Minneapolis is a different story. Amtrak doesn’t directly serve Minneapolis, but Target Field Station does have the Northstar Line providing […]

Dan Patch Rail Train

A Vision for the Dan Patch Corridor

Last year I posted about the potential for regional rail in the Twin Cities and Minnesota, and for this post I’ll be focusing on a route that has been of interest to me for over a decade; the Dan Patch Corridor between Minneapolis and Northfield. Some background on myself: I’ve lived in West Bloomington my […]