Savage to Lakeville, MN

A former crossing in Burnsville, MN.
A former crossing in Burnsville, MN. Photo by Eric Ecklund, September 2011.
A former crossing in Burnsville, MN. Note the "Exempt" signage o...
A former crossing in Burnsville, MN. Note the "Exempt" signage on the crossbuck. Photo by Eric Ecklund, September 2011.

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Between Savage and just north of Lakeville there are train tracks in very poor condition covered by grass and trees. There are also abandoned railroad crossing signals throughout the corridor. I believe it was pretty much abandoned in the late 1980s or 1990s by the Soo Line or Canadian Pacific. It was a busy route for the Minneapolis Northfield & Southern. Its still used, but only in Lakeville as railcar storage for Progressive Rail. North of Lakeville there is no chance a train could get through the brush and trees. It may be repaired in the future for Canadian Pacific and commuter rail service to Northfield from Minneapolis.

Eric Ecklund

As of last month a new option for the southwest LRT was to send the TCW down the MNS to swap out with UP. UP seems to like this idea for their grain shipments...coals might be in the fire for that one. Only big issue is the bridge and some sharp curves but it's on the table.

Jason Koczur
Lakeville, MN

Minneapolis native. This line has not been fully abandoned yet. MnDOT rail maps from January 2015 show it as "Out of Service", but not abandoned.

Adam Froehlig
Greensboro, VT

I read recently where the TCW was going to repair the MN&S bridge over the Minnesota River. I read this in the April 2015 edition of Minneapolis Federal Reserve online. I don't know if TCW actually has repaired that bridge, but after acquiring Sisseton/Milbank last year, TCW is seeing an increase in grain trains and may be forced to route across the Dan Patch bridge to access Pig's Eye yard on the UP.

patrick j dempsey
chaska, MN

I would love to gain permission to service this rail to clear out weeds and trees so that a trail can be utilized. If anyone has any info on who I contact please post. I have a couple photos exploring with the dog, that I will try to post

Tyler Davis
Burnsville, MN, MN

The bridge project started a few weeks ago, I know they got the new rail delivered on the north side of the bridge and timbers I think for the bridge...they also replaced a overpass on a side road just south of hwy 13 after a plow hit it a while back....idk, I got a sneaking idea that the line might go active at some point between Lakeville and savage again.... the county has been trying to buy the section along CR50 in Lakeville to widen it and it has been a solid NO from the would not surprise me to see progressive rail start using it to fill in the gap instead of going south to Northfield all the time to bypass mpls and st. paul congestion.

Jason Koczur
lakeville, MN

Nice to see the Dan Patch Bridge will finally be used again. As for the out-of-service section between Savage and Lakeville, MnDOT sees this route as an important north-south link bypassing the busy rail yards of Minneapolis and St. Paul for Canadian Pacific, but I can also see Progressive Rail using it as this would connect to their High Line operation in Bloomington and Richfield. Commuter rail is still up in the air, but Bloomington and Edina are now more open to the idea. Lakeville is still firmly against it.

Minneapolis, MN

I think lakeville was playing hardball because of the CR 50 project, if the line went away it would have created a easy solution to the road right of way issues on buying homes. We are part of the round about project and the railroad made the city and county upgrade the crossing on 185th, although there are just lights there, it is now set up for gates to be added at a later time, so the writing is kinda on the wall. Even if lakeville supported the transit, they are going to have one heck of a fight with the folks around lake marion, that area is 100% against this line being in existence, got a taste of that at one of the city council meetings. This line would be good for commuter rail, especially with the I35 bottleneck issues...but then also on the other end the Bloomington/Edina issue, but I love that they found away to get around the gag order by changing the scope and name of the project...but just watching the upgrade issue at 185th, and the bridge stuff I defiantly could see them sending trains through here again.

Jason Koczur
Lakeville, MN

This needs to be updated from abandoned to out of service, the line is still going to be used in the future, it is giving people the wrong idea.

Tim LaPosa
Lakeville, MN

I've worked in both Savage and Faribault and they have segments that look abandoned but as Mentioned earlier Mn.DOT lists them as U.P. active. People in both cities are hoping for the lines to be used with commuter being the first choice for economic expansion issues.

In faribault the Abandoned looking line runs along I35 to Owatonna and is blocking any ramps from being added to the bridges at the south end of town thereby limiting expansion between the two towns. If you miss the Hwy 60 exit at Faribault you have to go all the way to Medford to turn around legally!

One proposal is offering land to the railroad at 230th or 250th streets to move the railroad bed slightly east. That would allow ramps onto I35. One carrot could even be offer extra land for a rail station and parking lot for commuters?

Just think of how much economic development that would spur at either end of the line.

Southern, MN

I hope this could be repaired, just like the one that goes from Rosemount to Hayfield. That line was very good. And that one is now also used for Progressive Rail Storage; I hope that old CGW mainline could be used again. I hope to see it used again, as well as this line.

Rosemount MN, MN