MILW261 wrote:For now, the main line of the Minneapolis & St. Louis remains between Cedar Lake Junction in Minneapolis to Bass Lake Yard in St. Louis Park. It will not last for much longer thanks to the corridor it occupies slated to become part of a light rail transit route out to the southwest suburbs of the Twin Cities.
Here is a photo essay I just did about this bit of the Tootin' Louie that, for now, still sees trains in the form of short line Twin Cities & Western:
http://www.tonyheld.hoboandbowser.net/t ... lake-yard/
The TC&W is in a weird position - can't use the former MILW 29th Street Trench because it was blocked by the Hiawatha Avenue/LRT reconstruction, can't continue to use the M&StL Kenwood trackage with LRT theoretically coming (much to the joy of residents, who have been trying to rid the Kenwood neighborhood of rail since the M&StL was built), can't reconstruct its junction with the MN&S without accounting for a Superfund site, a hugely popular bike trail, and a divided highway while also accounting for a major elevation difference. The Kenwood line is not necessarily vital to the TC&W - no matter what happens, it will still be able to use the Dan Patch line - but there's no question it makes for faster connections to the rest of the national network at Minneapolis. Maybe that's something that could be negotiated as a shared-use segment, such as on the NJT RIVERline or on UTA TRAX.
Not-so-secretly, I would happily negotiate a restored rail line through the 29th Street Corridor, with a grade crossing of MN 55/Hiawatha Avenue alongside 28th Avenue, but with the proviso that TC&W would only be allowed to use the line between 12 am and 5 am. During the other hours, it would be physically disconnected from the rail network via derails, and a Budd car (or similar) operated as a shuttle between Hiawatha Avenue and Uptown Minneapolis. That seems like a fair compromise for me, and one that ensures the competitive and legal position of the railroad.