Category: Railroads

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 […]

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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 […]

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The Minnesota Intercity Passenger Rail Plan – Getting Back On Track?

Public transportation policy and funding in Minnesota over the past several years – if not decades – has focused on roads, bridges and airports.  As Minnesota’s population changes, these modes alone cannot satisfy all of our transportation needs.  The time has come for investment in a truly multi-modal transportation system.   Many Midwestern states have invested […]

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Intercity Rail Would Bridge Minnesota’s So-called “Rural-Urban Divide”

A few months ago, I was privileged to be a guest lecturer for a colleague’s environmental sociology course at the UW-La Crosse. For those unfamiliar, La Crosse, Wisconsin is one of the larger small cities in the region. It’s a city with a metro area of about 130,000 people located in a magnificent spot on […]

Notes From the Minnesota Statewide Passenger Rail Plan Meeting

On Jan 7, a meeting on the Minnesota Statewide Passenger Rail plan was held at the McColl Pond Environmental Learning Center in Savage, and streets.mn was invited to join other local media outlets and elected officials to hear about updates to the plan. No one else from streets.mn said they were going, so, because I […]

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Trains, Planes, or Cars: Which is the Most Carbon-Efficient Way to Travel?

Many of us traveled for the holidays, and many of the Streets community shared their experiences of traveling by Amtrak. It is very true that when moving on flat ground in a straight line, trains on steel wheels and rails are the most efficient form of transportation. Rolling on steel rails reduces rolling resistance and […]

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How Minneapolis Can Become A Transit City In One Decade

In the past month, the excellent transit blogger Alon Levy has written two posts that have particular relevance for places like the Twin Cities. This isn’t always the case, since Levy is more commonly focused on America’s older and larger transit systems (especially New York). His perspective is shaped by having lived in a number […]

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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 […]

Nicollet Mall at U.S. Bancorp Center, facing south. Photo taken August 11, 2019.

Reimagining Nicollet Mall for Micro-Mobility

During the NCAA Final Four, Nicollet Mall achieved what the planners had only dreamed of. It was a packed, vibrant hive of pedestrian activation with visitors shooting hoops, dining outside and even riding a Ferris wheel. The festivities ceded the 24-foot-wide bus lanes to pedestrians, and the activities and outdoor dining attracted crowds. Months later, […]