Freight Rail News and Happenings

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby VacantLuxuries » March 30th, 2018, 9:09 am

Let them pony up and build new railroads if they want to play J.J. Hill so bad. I don't feel bad for millionaires that no longer get to take advantage of Amtrak.

mattaudio
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby mattaudio » April 2nd, 2018, 8:41 am

I don't think a Wall Street Journal article is representative of the use of private varnish on the Amtrak system. Excursions are a much bigger use.

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby mulad » April 2nd, 2018, 10:10 am

I don't know the breakdown between private car owners using these themselves vs. either renting them out to others or having heritage preservation organizations that operate private cars for more public benefit, but I think it's a mistake to cut the service so deeply. This is threatening the 261 group's planned trip to Duluth and back on June 9th & 10th, which will/would carry hundreds of people. I think the heritage preservation side of this issue outweighs the fully-private side, so I suggest that folks sign this petition to restore the program: https://www.change.org/p/amtrak-rescind ... -movements

One of the issues here is that Amtrak is such a tiny organization, relatively speaking -- 31.7 million passengers last year compared to 4.7 billion passengers on Deutsche Bahn (Germany's national rail network), for instance. A small number of heritage equipment owners will cause a lot more headaches for an undersized railroad. That means Amtrak should get bigger, not that they should cut services like this.

Amtrak has always been in need of a lot more funding (double or more of what it currently gets per year) over a sustained period of time (a decade or more) to really get on its feet. At least they've managed to hold the line on funding and service reach/frequency, unlike the Canadian VIA Rail system, which has shrunk a lot over the years. By cutting this, I think Amtrak alienates a lot of their best supporters, including many who are well-connected.

Korh
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby Korh » April 22nd, 2018, 6:21 pm

Had a bit of a discussion with involving railroad crossings involving a certain line and it got me wondering, anyone know how maintenance for railroad crossings are paid for, is it threw MNdot, the railroad company, individual counties, etc.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby FISHMANPET » April 22nd, 2018, 8:06 pm

It's paid for by whoever owns the road that crosses the railroad, the railroad doesn't pay anything. At least that's the case with all the crossings on the freight rail along Hiawatha.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby DanPatchToget » April 23rd, 2018, 8:25 am

Bloomington and Richfield have been investing in new railroad crossing signals along the High Line Spur owned by Progressive Rail. Some are replacing older signals that probably needed replacement, and others replaced a crossbuck with stop sign. I guess its worth the hundreds of thousands of dollars so people don't have to stop even if a train isn't coming.

Also wasn't funding allocated to grade-separate the Como Avenue/BNSF St. Paul Sub crossing? Seems like that will be very difficult with the surrounding residential. Talmage Avenue in Minneapolis, on the same BNSF line, could be easily grade-separated since its on an elevation and little to no driveways to worry about.

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby DanPatchToget » May 4th, 2018, 8:31 am

Friends of the 261 have cancelled their PTC fundraising trip between Minneapolis and Duluth since Amtrak will no longer provide the insurance. They're still planning to make the 261 PTC compliant.

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Anondson
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby Anondson » October 2nd, 2018, 1:43 pm

Freight rail bottleneck project in Willmar may have its bidder chosen.

https://finance-commerce.com/2018/10/ho ... l-project/

Any rail fans out there able to give a reasonable list of the worst freight bottlenecks in Minnesota?

mattaudio
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby mattaudio » October 3rd, 2018, 11:30 am

From p. 47 of the State Rail Plan overview:
Although rail trackage extensively covers all regions of Minnesota, there are some bottlenecks. The Hoffman
Junction east of the Union Depot in St. Paul is used by BNSF, CP and UP, and carries 120 trains per day.
Bottlenecks in the Minneapolis Junction and corridors to the north caused delays for both the Northstar Commuter
Rail service and for freight shipments. The East Metro Rail Study, funded jointly by the three Class I railroads and
Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, identified specific Hoffman Junction-area capacity improvements that
are being systematically pursued. Other bottlenecks near La Crescent and Moorhead worsened statewide system
performance. Double tracking segments within the bottlenecks, adding/increasing siding length, improving signal
systems, and rehabilitating outdated structures will alleviate these problems as freight shipments and passenger rail
demand grow.
Here's a section of the document on proposed freight improvements: https://www.dot.state.mn.us/planning/ra ... port/4.pdf

HuskyGrad
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby HuskyGrad » October 7th, 2018, 3:30 pm

One of the issues here is that Amtrak is such a tiny organization, relatively speaking -- 31.7 million passengers last year compared to 4.7 billion passengers on Deutsche Bahn (Germany's national rail network), for instance. A small number of heritage equipment owners will cause a lot more headaches for an undersized railroad. That means Amtrak should get bigger, not that they should cut services like this.
Does the Deutsche Bahn numbers include the S-Bahn and Regio services? Those services are closer to heavy and commuter rail instead of intercity.

SteveXC500
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby SteveXC500 » June 27th, 2019, 9:53 am

Move if this doesn't belong here:

TCWR received a $2M grant from the US/DOT for some track improvements west of MPLS. Replaces 28 miles of rail. Anyone know if this includes any reconfiguration or modification to aid in SWLRT build?

https://railroads.dot.gov/newsroom/fede ... t-railroad

DanPatchToget
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby DanPatchToget » July 29th, 2019, 2:42 pm

Some siding track in Hopkins has been removed as part of the Southwest LRT project.

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Anondson
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby Anondson » July 29th, 2019, 3:04 pm

Word was that this week the bridge piers over Excelsior will start.

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby DanPatchToget » December 12th, 2019, 11:57 am

Not confirmed yet, but I’ve heard from the Minnesota Railroads Facebook group that the Montgomery Subdivision will be embargoed at the end of the month by Union Pacific due to a mill in New Prague shutting down.

This branch line starts west of Shakopee and goes through the towns of Jordan, New Prague, and Montgomery with the end of track just south of Montgomery.

Would be a nice little regional rail route to St. Paul, or even someday rebuilding across the river to Chaska and going all the way to Minneapolis.

EOst
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby EOst » December 12th, 2019, 12:25 pm

Would make a spectacular rail trail. There's a plan for a regional trail at the northern end.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby DanPatchToget » December 12th, 2019, 12:39 pm

Would make a spectacular rail trail. There's a plan for a regional trail at the northern end.
I agree on the condition that it can be turned back to rail at any time. Not that it would stop people from filing lawsuits, but hopefully they would be quickly tossed out.

South of Montgomery, at least where the right-of-way hasn't been plowed for farming, would also be a nice rail-trail.

mattaudio
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby mattaudio » December 12th, 2019, 12:46 pm

Aren't there multiple rail businesses on this spur? The canning plant in Montgomery, and a railcar business south of Jordan? Sad to see U.P. not care about this. Maybe Progressive Rail would have some interest, particularly if they could connect it to their Richfield spur (part of the old Dan Patch) via the bridge TC&W was fixing up at Savage.

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby DanPatchToget » June 7th, 2020, 3:00 pm

I don't know how credible the source is, but I read on the Minnesota Railroads Facebook group that Union Pacific wants to abandon the Valley Park and East Minneapolis rail yards.

Regarding the Montgomery Subdivision, Union Pacific is using it for railcar storage in addition to the little bit of shipping still left on that line.

MNdible
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby MNdible » June 8th, 2020, 10:54 am

Any chance you could mark up a map, or send some location pins so those of us not super immersed in rail geography know where you're talking about?

Mdcastle
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby Mdcastle » June 8th, 2020, 11:28 am

I wonder how long the canning plant will even be around. Seems canning plants have been closing right and left because no one really wants canned vegetables anymore.


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