Freight Rail News and Happenings

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
mattaudio
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby mattaudio » August 18th, 2015, 4:13 pm

The tracks crossing Lake Street, then Minnehaha Ave, then running along the Greenway are what connect the industrial rail customers south of Lake to the national rail system via the Short Line Bridge to St. Paul. This old rail looks to be owned by CP/SOO (via their Milwaukee Road buyout in the 80s) though the Minnesota Commercial Railway operates it. The little stub you mention along Lake is owned by the Met Council and is used for LRV delivery.

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby Silophant » August 18th, 2015, 4:19 pm

That's how the trains get to ADM. To the south, the tracks end at 46th St.

Edit: Oh, there was a new page.

Not that it really matters as long as the portion crossing Lake St. is still in service, but I would imagine that the stub used for offloading LRT vehicles (and substation transformers) could be removed once we build a couple of LRT extensions that parallel more heavily-used freight lines.

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby FISHMANPET » August 18th, 2015, 4:35 pm

Man I just assumed that all that track connected to the network from the South, but if I follow the track in Google Maps it goes through Minnehaha Falls park and I was just there Sunday and almost explored the decrepit abandoned bridge so I know that's not in service.

And when I first had this thought I didn't even see the track that connected to the Greenway, I just thought it was the LRT offloading and car storage, and I thought "this is a stupid use for this land."

But ugh I just this big blank area between Hiawatha and the businesses on the east side of the tracks. It's just this huge no-mans land.
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mulad
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby mulad » August 18th, 2015, 7:41 pm

Yeah, the "flow" of that track has kind of reversed over the decades -- the line paralleling Hiawatha Ave was one of the first connections into Minneapolis, coming from a crossing at the mouth of the Minnesota River next to Fort Snelling. The river channel has been changed so the old alignment across the river is almost completely obliterated today. The track that cuts through St. Paul to get to the Midtown Greenway corridor was built later and became known as the "Short Line" since it made a quicker route between the two downtowns compared to dipping down to Fort Snelling and back.

That was for the Milwaukee Road family tree -- the Great Northern/Northern Pacific and predecessors already had shorter routes.

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby froggie » August 18th, 2015, 7:52 pm

Man I just assumed that all that track connected to the network from the South, but if I follow the track in Google Maps it goes through Minnehaha Falls park and I was just there Sunday and almost explored the decrepit abandoned bridge so I know that's not in service.
Are you referring to the iron arch bridge that spans over the creek valley downstream of the falls, or the abandoned bridge just downstream of Hiawatha Ave? The latter was the old rail bridge.

If you've ever taken the bike path from the end of 54th St down towards Fort Snelling, that was the old rail line. Near the east end of the old fort, it continued across the Minnesota River on a truss bridge just north of the Mendota Bridge, curved on a trestle over a wetland into Mendota, actually crossed over the Union Pacific tracks in Mendota on a bridge (off D Street), and merged with what is now the Big Rivers Regional Trail just east of Mendota. That line then merged with the UP tracks just east of the I-35E/Lexington Bridge. As best as I can tell from old aerial imagery, the line was abandoned sometime in the 1960s, or possibly the late '50s.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby FISHMANPET » August 18th, 2015, 8:34 pm

It was above the falls. There were still tracks in the ground, but I didn't go into the brush to take a look at the actual bridge. The tracks continued onto the Minnehaha Depot as well. Did that track connect back to the line to cross the river, or just end at the depot?

Really gotta get me some old railroad atlases...
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froggie
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby froggie » August 19th, 2015, 4:59 am

The routing I described in my previous post is the route the tracks took once beyond Minnehaha Depot.

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby mulad » August 19th, 2015, 7:50 am


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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby Ottergoose » August 19th, 2015, 9:18 am

FISHMANPET wrote:Really gotta get me some old railroad atlases...
Open Railway Map is pretty good for historic infrastructure (and you can edit it, Wikipedia style), and Railfan Atlas is a good way to get a handle on current/recent operations.

mattaudio
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby mattaudio » September 1st, 2015, 2:26 pm

BNSF to Minneapolis homeowners: You're on our land
http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/m ... -land.html

BNSF Track Extension in NE Mpls. to Ease Congestion, Irritate Residents
http://kstp.com/news/stories/s3893763.shtml
The company originally planned to relieve congestion by building a new connection line with Canadian Pacific in Crystal but that project was blocked by the legislature after residents complained.
McBeth said this project was the next best option and utilizes land already owned by BNSF

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Anondson
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby Anondson » September 1st, 2015, 3:22 pm

I can sympathize. Sorta. I put up a new fence and the city made me get the property surveyed. Turns out the old fence was built on my neighbors lot, I had to move it and ended up losing a foot and a half of my garden into my neighbor's lot.

Different scale of whoops, but it happens.

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby mulad » September 1st, 2015, 6:38 pm

There's an injunction currently in place by a state circuit court judge to prevent BNSF from using the second track they built through La Crosse this year. It's pretty likely to be tossed out since railroads are federally regulated. The next hearing is later this month.

http://lacrossetribune.com/bnsf-court-o ... e2882.html

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby seanrichardryan » September 3rd, 2015, 10:20 pm

Looks pretty obvious in the HennCo property maps. Some of those houses/apartments should not have been built.

https://gis.hennepin.us/property/map/de ... 2924120169

http://www.startribune.com/northeast-mi ... 324279741/
BNSF’s land claim may even extend to a nearby city street. A BNSF representative asked Hennessy to move his truck from a nearby cul-de-sac Thursday. They summoned Minneapolis police when he refused, Hennessy said, but an officer determined he was legally parked on a city street. The railroad then dispatched its own police, who said the car was on railroad property and threatened to tow it.

“They’re claiming that that’s railroad property and the city built the street on railroad property,” Hennessy said. “That cul-de-sac has been there ever since I moved in here … I’ve been here for 38 years.”
AS for the culdesac mentioned in the article, hard to tell. It appears the city still controls the street ROW under the tracks up to Lowry. Lots of odd lines in this area. Possible Leverage?
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby mulad » September 4th, 2015, 7:04 am

I think this link works better for the county map: https://gis.hennepin.us/Property/map/de ... ,0,0,0,0,0

The parcel overlay of the map is probably not 100% aligned with the aerial imagery -- if it is, there's a lot of stuff in the neighborhood that's out of place. There need to be surveyors on the ground to get it right. The parcel overlay most likely needs to be shifted up and to the right a little bit. The building at 2401, and the garages on 2331 and 2325 7th St NE look like they're very close to the line, and the fence behind 2325 almost certainly extends into railroad property. The apartment building itself at 629 23rd is probably fine, but some of its parking lot may be just past the property line.

Strange that the county map shows the public right of way for 7th extending all the way up to Lowry, since that's now blocked by a railroad bridge which looks like it's been there for most of the last century.

mattaudio
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby mattaudio » September 4th, 2015, 9:00 am

Looking at Historic Aerials (and current satellite) it seems that the bridges at Lowry/Washington/22nd were built to accommodate a fifth track on the south side of the rails, but it was never historically there.

My question is - why do they really need a fifth mainline track through here? At Monroe Street, two mainline tracks go to the St. Paul Subdivision, and two go down the Midway Subdivision (with one splitting off at the Minneapolis Junction wye into Downtown).

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby mulad » September 4th, 2015, 9:41 am

The fifth track on the bridges, you mean? Yeah, I guess. (The bridges themselves date back before 1937 when this aerial was taken.) It looks like some bridges further south were built to accommodate quite a few tracks, so they probably just built everything to a standard width at the time.

I'm not sure what's going on, though there is a spur that begins just north of Lowry -- they might be pulling that a bit farther south to make room for other things. Alternately, Canadian Pacific might be getting a nearly dedicated track all they way from their connection near St. Anthony Parkway on south, though that seems like more than what's necessary. (The plan is to convert the existing spur on the west side of the BNSF tracks near St. Anthony to a connector, right?)

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby seanrichardryan » September 4th, 2015, 10:02 am

The bridges mostly date from the mid 1920s.
http://bridgehunter.com/category/city/m ... howphotos/

Also, looks like property lines were less contentious in 1938.
http://geo.lib.umn.edu/minneapolis/y1938/MP-4-325.jpg
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby mulad » September 4th, 2015, 10:46 am

Also strange that the three homes at 2331, 2325, and 2321 7th Street show a build date of 1924 in the county property map, but they don't show up on historicaerials until after 1957 (they first appear in the 1966 shots, along with the commercial building to the north from 1964 and the apartments which apparently went up in 1961).

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby seanrichardryan » September 4th, 2015, 11:04 am

They clearly looks 1920s. Must have been moved?
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fehler
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby fehler » September 4th, 2015, 11:44 am

The Strib article noted that some of these houses were moved in from the I-35W era widening of Hiawatha Ave.


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