St Louis Park – Freight trains may not be rerouted on MN&S line

Freight rail rerouting rolls toward a decision | StarTribune.com.

With the potential government shut-down this hot topic might also stall out since it is deemed non-essential.  Like most in the area the idea of a government shut-down is a shock and disappointment.  I’ll leave it at that.

In terms of the train talk – it is interesting to track how the city of SLP has derailed county plans to re-route freight trains through SLP (nice play on words eh?).  Or so it seems to be moving in that direction.  I give all parties involved a lot of credit for exploring numerous options related to “Hennepin County’s plan to clear the Kenilworth corridor for a light rail line from Mpls to the SW suburbs.”

These quotes jumped out at me in the June 28, 2012 update – you can hit the link above and read the entire article:

“The city felt that the county did not show that the MN&S was the only viable route,” Miller said. “It became quite clear that the Kenilworth route was easier and less expensive.”

“We have a lot of conflicting infrastructure and a lot of conflicting community and political interests here. We are kind of feeling our way through it,” said Phil Eckhert, director of environmental services for the county.

The county has never considered running light rail and freight rail side by side, Eckhert said. “We didn’t buy our corridor for freight rail.”

The work isn’t done and the final decisions haven’t been made.  I’m sure it has been a tough year for those involved in the decision and those who will be directly impacted.  A freight train going through SLP will impact homes on the MN&S line whereas widening the Kenilworth corridor will involve “removing some Cedar Shore townhouses”.  As a realtor, I experience the challenges sellers face when moving as a result of their own decisions.  It is a lot tougher for homeowners who may be told they must move to make room for the trains.  Similarly, those currently trying to sell in SLP in this tough market are having even a tougher time if on or near the potential freight line.

Good luck to all involved.  Here’s hoping for some closure very soon.  I’ll post more details as they become available.  I would appreciate your comments too on this hot local topic.

Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July weekend!

Ingrid

c: 612-750-6392

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3 Responses to St Louis Park – Freight trains may not be rerouted on MN&S line

  1. Andrew Selden says:

    The idea that LRT and TC&W freight cannot coexist on the Cedar Lake alignment is silly.
    The main issue seems to be the bike path–that can be easily elevated above the rail lines for a few hundred feet at trivial cost relative to the SW Corridor budget.
    Similarly, in any part of the Cedar Lake alignment where the corridor is less than 38 feet wide, which is all that is needed for three tracks and fences, then for that very short distance the LRT line can go to single track. That will be a bottleneck, to be sure, but never more than a nuisance, and a far less costly alternative than re-routing anything via the former MN&S route in St. Louis Park.
    Andrew Selden, President
    Minnesota Association of Railroad Passengers
    PO Box 580375,
    Minneapolis MN 55440

    • ingridfriel says:

      Thanks for your thoughts on the LRT. I live in Eden Prairie and will start to track the plans for a line from here to Mpls.

      Related, I spoke to one buyer who lives south of downtown who expressed some disappointment with needing to go downtown and switch lines to get to the U of M. Although this approach sound similar to how buses and airlines work, with a HUB approach perhaps the buses will complement the LRT for added passenger efficiency.

      • Andrew Selden says:

        I don’t believe that an operating plan has been developed yet for the SW Corridor, but it would not be unlikely for it to run trains through from Eden Prairie to the Hiawatha line, and the Central Corridor to run from Target Field to St. Paul, overlapping in downtown Minneapolis. With any system that has more than two lines, some passengers will have to change somewhere to get from one to the other.

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