Category: Railroads

BNSF Said No to Light Rail, Would They Say Yes to a Trail?

The Blue Line Extension hit a major roadblock when BNSF Railway refused to allow part of the light rail route on their right-of-way. This means delays and a higher cost to the project, but it’s also been an opportunity to reroute the light rail through North Minneapolis. What hasn’t been talked about however, is the […]

Rail vs Bus on the Red Rock Corridor

Back in the late 1990s, MnDOT analyzed several existing freight rail corridors in the Twin Cities region for the possibility of implementing commuter rail service. Three routes were chosen for their cost effectiveness and best potential ridership: the Northstar Line to St. Cloud, the Red Rock Corridor to Hastings, and the Dan Patch Corridor to […]

This side, rather than the street-facing side of the Village On Rivoli homes is considered the front. Notice the skyline of Downtown to the southwest.

In, Out and Around Railroad Island

September 23, 2019 23 miles Summit-University, Frogtown (Thomas-Dale), Downtown, Railroad Island (Payne-Phalen), North End, Midway, Lexington-Hamline, Macalester-Groveland, Highland Park Downtown Minnesota’s stunningly beautiful and recently renovated Capitol building obviously is the center piece of the Capitol Complex. However, the Transportation Building, Senate and State Office Buildings, the Judicial Center, and some 10 other structures (and […]

Bnsf 3 Track Line

Opinion: Biden should invest $1 trillion on trains

Now that Joe Biden is president-elect, he must ask Congress to include a rail infrastructure package in any upcoming coronavirus relief bill. For the sake of the economy—and the climate—any economic relief bill must fund rail infrastructure investments at a massive scale. The United States has underinvested in passenger rail for decades, leaving our country […]

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 […]

Tunnels of the Twin Cities Suburbs

Notable Tunnels of the Twin Cities Suburbs

Many suburbs have retrofitted bicycle infrastructure, usually so that vulnerable users won’t slow automotive throughput. Along the way, many of these projects have spawned tunnels, which are always fun.