Wayzata to Hutchinson
This line, which came within about a dozen miles west of the Twin Cities, was originally part of Great Northern. In later years, the BN sold it off to Dakota Rail. In 2001 or 2002, the line was again sold to a joint venture set up by Hennepin, Carver, and McLeod Counties.
No trains have operated since the 1990s, and the joint venture was not successful in locating a new operator for the line. The route was formally abandoned in early 2004, and could be replaced by a rail trail. The line served Wayzata (Hutchinson Jct.), Mound, St. Bonifacius, New Germany, Lester Prairie, Silver Lake and Hutchinson.
Recent information courtesy of The Herald-Journal Newspaper.
Update from the Three Rivers Park District Website:
Dakota Rail Regional Trail
At this time, the trail is open between St. Bonifacius and County Road 19 in the Navarre area of Orono, and between County Road 51 and the Wayzata city beach. Other portions of the trail remain closed at this time. As construction progresses, please check back for updates regarding permitted use. Trail users are reminded to exercise caution and to be respectful of contractors working in the corridor.
The Dakota Rail Regional Trail follows the route of the former Dakota railroad corridor, going through St. Bonifacius, Minnetrista, Mound, Spring Park, Minnetonka Beach, Orono and Wayzata. Motorized vehicles and horses are not permitted on the trail. Completion is expected later this year.
The public's patience is appreciated during construction of the Dakota Rail Regional Trail.
The Dakota Rail Trail is open between Wayzata and Lester Prairie and should be complete to Hutchinson soon (maybe 2014 or 2015). It is a fantastic trail and is very heavily traveled!