Minnesota Zepher Rolls On

Bikers are going to have to wait a bit longer for a St. Paul to Stillwater trail connection.

The Minnesota Zepher dining train had been scheduled to make its last tour of Stillwater at the end of 2007. This included plans to convert the tracks into a trail that would take bikers, bladers and runners in and out of downtown Stillwater in a Northwest direction that would eventually connect with the Gateway trail, which goes to St. Paul.

The Parks and Trails Council had been working with Paradeau, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Washington County to purchase the 5.9-mile railway and add it to a regional trail system that includes the nearby Gateway Trail. However, talks were suspended earlier this month after the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) chose not to recommend to the Legislature a $4 million proposal to buy the tracks and surrounding land.

If you’re sitting on $4 million, this would be a great opportunity to make an incredible gift that supports healthy lifestyles.

2 thoughts on “Minnesota Zepher Rolls On”

  1. I spent most of my childhood living right next to the tracks in question, and my time was spent biking the trails nearby. I can say there is no reason those tracks should be converted into bike trails as there are plenty of other trails (including the gateway) to get you in and around Stillwater.

    The sad fact is that the Zephyr tracks no longer have any appeal as the landscape they follow has turned into views of crappy developments rather than the natural beauty it used to show off.

    What should be done with this land is still a big question mark in my mind. Perhaps it should just be added to the land available for shitty townhouses or something. Nothing else really makes sense for it.

  2. Why not develop light rail on the established right of way for the expanding eastern burbs ? Stillwater into North Saint Paul with connection to the University avenue corridor. The Met Council and Euphorians want cars off the roads and out of the cities, and it seems to make perfect sense: very little noise, no immediate air or water pollution (nuclear or natural gas generated electricity will, run the train), convenient, progressive. This would go a long way to undo the scandalous destruction of the old streetcar system in the 50’s. I am sure some of the “I Got MIne” good citizens along the route will whine but the overall good of the Twin Cities area will benefit.

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