Blue Line Extension Future Remains in BNSF’s Hands
The Blue Line Extension plan has been stalled for a few years due to the BNSF railway and MET Council not agreeing on a critical issue.
The Bottineau Line would go from downtown Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park and pass through Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, and Crystal. Met Council plans call for 11 stops and 13 more miles of track.
But to make that happen, the Blue Line would have to share part of the track. BNSF spokesperson Amy McBeth says that’s not going to happen.
“We’ve told Met Council repeatedly for the past several years and as recently as this spring that we are not proceeding with any discussion of passenger rail on our property in this corridor,” said McBeth.
Light rail officials are hoping to get negotiations back on track.
“We are waiting on re-engaging with BNSF to see what happens. We’re not at the point where we’re looking at alternatives. We’re not at the point of saying this project is over,” said Blue Line Spokesperson Trevor Roy.
Officials in Brooklyn Park say they are very committed to resolving issues with the railroad. Meanwhile, the light rail holdup is hindering other projects in the city.
“We’ve delayed the reconstruction of West Broadway. We’re putting some more development plans on hold in certain parts, especially the Oak Grove area,” explained Jay Stroebel, city Manager.
Cities like Robbinsdale are still hopeful the railroad will come to the table. But in the meantime, they are left at the mercy of BNSF.
“The fact they won’t even talk about it. Everything has a price, and they won’t even give us what that price is so we can make an informed decision on how to proceed,” said Robbinsdale Council Member George Selman.
To learn more about Blue Line Light Rail Extension plans, click here.