MN - MnDNR to purchase former NP Stillwater branch

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MN - MnDNR to purchase former NP Stillwater branch

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:55 pm

http://www.startribune.com/local/east/102667789.html

Star Tribune wrote:DNR officials said on Friday that they have obtained the right to buy the 6 1/2-mile railbed formerly used by the Minnesota Zephyr and that they intend to use the land to build a recreational trail connecting the Gateway section of the Willard Munger State Trail to downtown Stillwater.


About darn time - this section of the former Northern Pacific has been disconnected from the rail network for nearly 30 years since it was sold to the Minnesota Transportation Museum, and from them to the Minnesota Zephyr. There are no customers along its length, the neighbors were (are?) intensely anti-rail and almost certainly would not have funded a trail without state support either, and it will drop cyclists directly into a very scenic river town.
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Re: MN - MnDNR to purchase former NP Stillwater branch

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:30 pm

More information on the trail: http://www.startribune.com/local/east/134875203.html

Fair use quote:
Kevin Giles wrote:New state trail in Washington County aiming for instant popularity

A draft Browns Creek master plan estimates that at least 75,000 people a year will use it.

A major new state trail planned for Washington County will open next year to instant popularity, funneling thousands of cyclists, runners, walkers and horse riders to the St. Croix River.

That's the vision in a draft master plan for Browns Creek State Trail, made public Thursday, that foresees the 5.9-mile corridor as a strategic link to trails up and down the river from Stillwater and possibly across the river into Wisconsin.

In recent decades, most people saw the forested route from the windows of the Minnesota Zephyr dinner train, which ran from Stillwater to the rural city of Grant for 23 years until it ceased operations on New Year's Eve in 2008. This summer, the Legislature approved $3.2 million in state funding to buy the corridor.


The article continues by projecting a Summer 2012 opening date. This will help Stillwater immensely by making it an even easier bike trip from St. Paul, and also make the Gateway Trail (former 1800s Wisconsin Central, later Soo Line) even more popular by actually connecting it to a destination.

For the Browns Creek State Trail Master Draft, see this link (PDF): http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/input/mgmt ... t_1111.pdf
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