Minnesota Valley regional rail (Shakopee, Mankato, beyond)

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Re: Shakopee Rail?

Postby mulad » February 7th, 2013, 9:29 am

I guess one of my thoughts is that a station should be built in St. Louis Park. While nobody would want to lose a house (and I'm not convinced yet that (m)any houses would have to be demolished -- more typically garages and sheds in back yards), would people be more willing to accept the trade if their neighborhood will directly benefit?

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Re: Shakopee Rail?

Postby mattaudio » February 7th, 2013, 9:51 am

Where in SLP? Somewhere in addition to West End? Wooddale and Lake might work, depending on what happens with the reroute plans.

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Re: Shakopee Rail?

Postby mamundsen » February 7th, 2013, 10:38 am

The problem I keep having is that this would steal riders from SW LRT. Isn't that the same reason 35W is BRT rather than LRT? They considered it too close to the Blue Line?

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Re: Shakopee Rail?

Postby Tcmetro » February 7th, 2013, 10:39 am

This line would be serving a different market. Commuters from Shakopee, Edina, Bloomington to Minneapolis and St Paul. Reverse commuters to Edina and Normandale Lake.

The reason 35W is BRT is because it runs in a freeway alignment. Why would you spend money ripping apart the freeway for trains when you already have the HOV lanes in place? In any case, no Alternatives Analysis was ever completed for 35W, the Met Council is just going to put the BRT in without help from the Feds.

While I like the idea, the line from Savage to St Louis Park likely needs a lot of work, and the expense could be quite the dealbreaker. Not only that, but BRT along 394 could effectively serve the West End, and 3 substantial park and ride lots have been built in Shakopee, not adjacent to the rail line.

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Re: Shakopee Rail?

Postby mattaudio » February 7th, 2013, 11:00 am

I think the best option is to forget about the MN&S alignment in the near to mid term. Build a LRT spur to West End, which could eventually go south or it could cut north and continue west on 394 (or both). Then built regional rail on the UP, SPUD>Shakopee>Belle Plaine/Le Sueur>St. Peter>Mankato... the casino/track/valleyfair could help foot the marginal cost for additional trips between SPUD and Shakopee if they wanted. Then, in the long term, using MN&S could be considered for commuter light rail or a faster connection for this regional line to Minneapolis via the Dan Patch bridge.

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Re: Shakopee Rail?

Postby Suburban Outcast » February 7th, 2013, 12:10 pm

They could always cut the commuter rail line north of the river and add 1-2 more stations within Edina and Bloomington. Old Shakopee Road could be the terminus, while 70th St could be another Edina Station. The reason I picked the MN&S Alignment is that would serve Edina and West Bloomington, with an expansion to Savage and Shakopee if possible. And this probably wouldn't happen until the long term (they would probably Red Rock would be built before this, but I think this would serve more riders). If the Southwest LRT ended in Hopkins, then I would say there could be commuter rail serving Chaska, southern Chanhassen, and in Eden Prairie.
To be honest, reducing the Dan Patch Line to Bloomington fits in better for my ideal plan for a transit network (as I do want to keep the railways within the already built-up sprawl,):
Commuter Rail - connecting CBDs mainly with developed suburbs (ones with at least close to 2,000 ppsm) within a 10-15 miles radius of DT Mpls or St Paul, with some connections to outer suburbs within 15-25 miles from the CBD
LRT - serving central cities with the densest inner-ring suburbs (areas with preferably over 4,000 ppsm, or a large enough commerical district) (Southwest would be an exception given Hopkins is dense for a Minneapolis suburb and the Golden Triangle is a large commerical district)
Streetcar/Light Metro/Premetro - Densest inner-city neighborhoods of Minneapolis (areas with over 7,500 ppsm, but averaging over 10,000 ppsm in some areas)

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Re: Shakopee Rail?

Postby Suburban Outcast » February 10th, 2013, 4:05 am

I got bored and photoshopped what a Downtown Shakopee station could look like. Since Big Lake has only one side platform, I figured Shakopee could have the same layout, so then 2nd Ave E still has access to a parking lot north of the station.
Image
Larger image
Station location in the present

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Re: Shakopee Rail?

Postby Kingsdown032876 » March 4th, 2013, 1:31 pm

Dan Patch runs by Jerry's grocery store and the old Edina Public Works Building.
Neighborhood is known as Grandview.
The Grandview Citizens steering comittee was tasked at looking into what development should go there
One recomendation that was approved was that the area near the tracks should be saved for a train station.
City of Edina is also trying to build a Park and Ride on the property in coordination with the development.

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Re: Shakopee Rail?

Postby Mdcastle » March 24th, 2013, 1:50 pm

I do like the idea of two stops at Shakopee, one in the downtown area and one at Valleyfair. One thing I thought of is their parking lot would make an excellent park and ride location, since it's already there, and is only ever full on nice weekends in the summer. There's also a lot of room between the existing parking lot and the employee housing that's just grass right now. You'd just have to separate it so people don't park for free or at a reduced rate in the weekday park and ride section and then walk over to Valleyfair.

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Re: Shakopee Rail?

Postby mattaudio » March 25th, 2013, 8:08 pm

If this section was actually going to be double tracked, I'd rather see grade separation as well. If the rails were raised maybe 5-10 feet and streets were depressed 10-15 feet, it could work well.

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Re: Shakopee Rail?

Postby Suburban Outcast » March 26th, 2013, 1:33 am

It probably wouldn't needed to be, but I just added that in along to see what it could look like.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Pip » July 8th, 2014, 2:46 pm

This may have been talked about previously... I didn't read all 126 pages of this thread. I know it's way too late for this to be done but wouldn't it have made sense to bring the the line down Flying Cloud Drive, connect Flying Cloud Airport, go over the river, and hit Valleyfair, Canterbury, and Mystic Lake? 3 huge attractions, an airport, and it could also connect the growing Shakopee business community. It could help turn Flying Cloud into a more viable airport and I'm sure Mystic Lake especially would love the fact they could get people into and out of downtown directly. I know money is always the factor with these things but you'd think Mystic would throw in a decent amount. Going from the end of Green Line to Mystic via bus shows the quickest route is currently 3 hours. Not sure if that's right but Google is never wrong, right? Anyway, anyone else think this should have been included from the beginning?

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby HuskyGrad » July 8th, 2014, 2:56 pm

Pip wrote:This may have been talked about previously... I didn't read all 126 pages of this thread. I know it's way too late for this to be done but wouldn't it have made sense to bring the the line down Flying Cloud Drive, connect Flying Cloud Airport, go over the river, and hit Valleyfair, Canterbury, and Mystic Lake? 3 huge attractions, an airport, and it could also connect the growing Shakopee business community. It could help turn Flying Cloud into a more viable airport and I'm sure Mystic Lake especially would love the fact they could get people into and out of downtown directly. I know money is always the factor with these things but you'd think Mystic would throw in a decent amount. Going from the end of Green Line to Mystic via bus shows the quickest route is currently 3 hours. Not sure if that's right but Google is never wrong, right? Anyway, anyone else think this should have been included from the beginning?
Ah the 3D alignment. :mrgreen:

In seriousness, I'm not sure whether that has been looked it. However, I don't think it would have met the development goals of Eden Prairie.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » July 8th, 2014, 3:05 pm

Why would they build a train when they just commenced a new project to expand the Shakopee 101 causeway to four lanes? A possible option could be a Shakopee stop on future regional rail to St. Peter/Mankato/New Ulm but I doubt that will happen in the next 50 years.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Suburban Outcast » July 8th, 2014, 3:06 pm

Plus if it went over the Minnesota River, that would make the overall costs of the train to hit over $2 billion easily. Also, putting rail over to Shakopee would be better designed as commuter (and regional) rail rather than light rail. I wrote about the Dan Patch Corridor over a year ago and discussed about a station at Valleyfair (which the lot could be used as a park and ride during the off season), but it's unlikely to ever get built.
Last edited by Suburban Outcast on July 8th, 2014, 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby ECtransplant » July 8th, 2014, 3:12 pm

Pip wrote:This may have been talked about previously... I didn't read all 126 pages of this thread. I know it's way too late for this to be done but wouldn't it have made sense to bring the the line down Flying Cloud Drive, connect Flying Cloud Airport, go over the river, and hit Valleyfair, Canterbury, and Mystic Lake? 3 huge attractions, an airport, and it could also connect the growing Shakopee business community. It could help turn Flying Cloud into a more viable airport and I'm sure Mystic Lake especially would love the fact they could get people into and out of downtown directly. I know money is always the factor with these things but you'd think Mystic would throw in a decent amount. Going from the end of Green Line to Mystic via bus shows the quickest route is currently 3 hours. Not sure if that's right but Google is never wrong, right? Anyway, anyone else think this should have been included from the beginning?
Mystic runs private shuttle/coach buses from all over the Cities to the casino for free. I don't know if they're in Google's database.

http://www.mysticlake.com/freeride

Pip

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Pip » July 8th, 2014, 3:58 pm

HuskyGrad wrote: Ah the 3D alignment. :mrgreen:

In seriousness, I'm not sure whether that has been looked it. However, I don't think it would have met the development goals of Eden Prairie.
Yes, the secret 3D alignment. :) Development goals? I'm sure EP would love Flying Cloud to be connected.
mattaudio wrote:Why would they build a train when they just commenced a new project to expand the Shakopee 101 causeway to four lanes? A possible option could be a Shakopee stop on future regional rail to St. Peter/Mankato/New Ulm but I doubt that will happen in the next 50 years.
Increasing the capacity of 101 is a start. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Scott County the fastest growing county in the state and one of the fastest growing counties in the nation? Giving them the option of traveling by LRT sounds like a good idea to me.
Suburban Outcast wrote:Plus if it went over the Minnesota River, that would make the overall costs of the train to hit over $2 billion easily. Also, putting rail over to Shakopee would be better designed as commuter (and regional) rail rather than light rail. I wrote about the Dan Patch Corridor over a year ago and discussed about a station at Valleyfair (which the lot could be used as a park and ride during the off season), but it's unlikely to ever get built.
I disagree that commuter rail would be a better option. A 4-7 mile extension of an existing LRT line sounds like a decent option to me. I don't disagree that is would be costly but I'm sure Shakopee, Scott County, and the businesses bound to benefit would chip in. Don't forget that the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is the richest native American community in the country. A $300-400 million "donation" would not be out of their realm with an estimated profit of close to $1 billion a year. They're paying for the 169 expansion to 3 lanes near Canterbury Road.
ECtransplant wrote: Mystic runs private shuttle/coach buses from all over the Cities to the casino for free. I don't know if they're in Google's database.

http://www.mysticlake.com/freeride
The buses are nice but LRT is much more desirable. I don't think I'd ever take a Mystic bus but I would take the Green Line down.
twincitizen wrote:I'm sorry, but now is not the time for discussion so far out of the realm of the actual project at hand. Let's try to keep it as germane as possible for the next month or so until this thing makes it through municipal consent.
Fair enough. I've said my peace. The gambler and thrill seeker in me can dream of light rail going down there one day. I hope the SMSC makes some kind of angel investment in 5 years and makes it happen. But I digress.

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Re: Shakopee Rail?

Postby Tcmetro » July 8th, 2014, 4:39 pm

I don't think a line to Scott County is feasible for a number of reasons:

- Flying Cloud Airport isn't a destination for public transit users.
- Expensive to build a bridge to Shakopee. High bluff line and would have to be quite lengthy.
- Valleyfair is a summer only destination. If the riders can't be brought in year round, then forget it.
- Surrounding industrial park is low density as is the new residential areas.
- Mystic Lake has a bus system already, that serves both workers and gamblers. They should run a shuttle to the Green Line in Eden Prairie if the demand exists.
- At the distance the area is from the core, origin-destination pairs are much more diffuse, and combined with low densities ridership will be extremely poor.
- Highway 169 is uncongested in the area, even during peak times.
- The sheer mileage and bridge requirement means that such a project would be extremely costly. Transit dollars are so limited that this would be an excessive waste.

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Re: Shakopee Rail?

Postby Suburban Outcast » July 8th, 2014, 6:09 pm

It is unlikely to happen. If regional rail somehow gets to Mankato by 2030, then a commuter rail line could possibly go to Shakopee with a shuttle to Mystic along the same route. But the chance of that happen is pretty nil. Most Scott County residents and politicians are conservative and typically anti-transit. They would support a MN 41 bridge upgrade similar in scale to the MN 36 - St. Croix bridge in Stillwater over a train.

The developed portion of the county is too far from downtown and sprawled out for light rail. Mystic Lake is around 25 miles from downtown (maybe about 20-22 miles or so with a direct LRT alignment), versus Eden Prairie being about 12 miles away regarding the endpoint of the Southwest LRT. EP is sprawled, but is at least within a 30-40 min commute to downtown via LRT and has a large amount of jobs in the Golden Triangle area. EP also has the potential to be a park and ride central hub for the southwest suburbs to warrant light rail travel. I'd rather see light rail in only inner-ring dense suburbs and the central cities, but EP still has more potential for LRT ridership than Shakopee ever will.

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Re: Shakopee Rail?

Postby Mdcastle » July 8th, 2014, 7:00 pm

I'm assuming that the new MN 41 freeway would be built before rail. There's money for ROW preservation but nothing more on the planning horizon, the MN 24 freeway is likely to happen first and even that keeps getting pushed back. I think people overestimate how much traffic Valleyfair would generate. I'm there at least once a week, and based on my observation teens or families pack themselves tightly in cars so they don't have to pay for more than one cars worth of parking, I'm not sure how many of them live near a light rail stop.


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