LETTER: Freight rail is a blip in the Southwest LRT line
To the Editor:
The Southwest Light Rail Transit line will run alongside an existing freight rail track, from Target Field to Eden Prairie. Most people couldn’t care less about this collocation of freight and light rail transit.
However, there is a part of the Southwest Light Rail Transit line where it is being proposed to move the freight trains overhead onto a little spur track that runs north and south through St Louis Park.
There is no reason to move the freight trains from where they are other than they are “ugly” in the eyes of some influential folks who live in a quarter-mile stretch called Kenilworth. This reroute will add many millions of dollars to the Southwest Light Rail Transit line costs. Taxpayers of Hennepin County will have to contribute to that tab!
If this reroute stays in the plan it will cut the high school property in two, be extremely noisy as three engines (at full throttle) will be required to lift the trains overhead; inner-city traffic will be severely snarled; and property values all along the track will fall, affecting the city tax base.
Since we have been objecting to this totally unnecessary reroute for four years with no change in the County Board’s position, I feel it is time to say running freight and light rail together through the Kenilworth corridor is the only allowable consideration left on the table. Collocation must now be singularly pursued so the Southwest Light Rail Transit line can proceed.
St. Louis Park