Archive | Railroads

To the Gulf of Minneapolis

July 10, 2016 Downtown, West Side 18.3 Miles I frequently look at maps of Saint Paul. Call it a “blogupational” hazard. Sometimes I’ll plan a ride with the help of Google maps. Occasionally I’ll use an official City of Saint Paul paper map. Street maps from the mid and late- 1800s to the 2010s are […]

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Is Minnesota All Aboard for Intercity Rail?

After posting about potential rapid transit routes in the Twin Cities here and potential regional rail routes in the Twin Cities here, now is the potential for intercity rail in Minnesota. History of Intercity Rail in Minnesota Post-Amtrak Like most states, Minnesota had a large intercity rail network operated by private freight railroads. With the […]

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Do Cities Like Minneapolis Have High Transit Ridership? (Part 2)

In the last post, I discussed which foreign cities are most like Minneapolis in terms of population distribution. In this post, I’m going to present some numbers about the transit systems of those cities, in order to determine how extensive Minneapolis’ transit system could be, given the distribution of its population. Transit share in New […]

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Living in Union Depot

May 21, 2016 Lowertown, Downtown 15 miles The grand and solemn Saint Paul Union Depot is a train station. Although this seems patently obvious, Union Depot in fact took a 43 year break – from 1971 until 2014 – as the train station for Saint Paul. Today, Saint Paul Union Depot is a transit hub, […]

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Returning to the Rails in South Dakota

Following an extended hiatus to surf the torrent of government news these days, I’m back with another set of maps to explain the current situation with passenger rail in the U.S. and a possible vision for the future. This time, I’m focusing on our neighbor to the southwest, South Dakota. For my previous posts on […]

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Remnants of Stonebridge

May 20, 2016 Macalester-Groveland, Desnoyer Park 10 Miles Stonebridge. Today, it’s little more than a two block long street in Macalester-Groveland. From the 1910s into the early ‘30s, however, Stonebridge was the grandest estate in Saint Paul. To this day, the mystique of Stonebridge remains fascinating to local historians because of estate’s size, extravagance and […]

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The Stagnant Investment in Amtrak, by Station Count

Amtrak, the country’s intercity passenger rail company, has had its funding stuck in the doldrums ever since it was founded in 1971. There have been sporadic bursts of money to the government-sponsored company, mostly to invest in new locomotives and train cars and the occasional upgrade to the tracks on particular routes. However, there hasn’t […]

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The Resurgence of Trains

This post originally appeared on theplanninglady.com. I recently read an from the Planning Magazine titled “Rail Relationships” which I found interesting because it acknowledged the necessity for cities to build adjacent to long standing rail infrastructure as they run out of available land but also addressed the economic need to preserve their operations. The most interesting facts […]

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Potential Paths for Passenger Rail in North Dakota

My last few posts have looked at the rail networks in Minnesota and Wisconsin to look for opportunities for adding passenger service where little or none exists today. I also examined the system in Norway, a country with a similar population to Minnesota and Wisconsin, yet with a much more functional and robust intercity public […]

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Many Prospects for Passenger Rail in Wisconsin

  In my most recent two posts I looked first at the opportunities I see for passenger rail in Minnesota, followed by an entry examining Norway’s passenger rail network to make some comparisons. There are similarities between the two such as the fact that Minnesota and Norway have about the same population and have been growing […]

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