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Nimby Neighbor Rails Against Trains

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Progressive Rail, a Lakeville-based shortline railroad, made the news this week:

The neighborhood off Kenwood Trail has become a parking lot for trains, bringing with it more problems than residents would like.

Pam Steinhagen has enough anger to fill a train tanker. She says since last November, the cars have been parked here and have created an eyesore on rails. Not only that, Steinhagen says she's worried about kids who've turned the cars into a playground.

So Steinhagen has organized a neighborhood petition and contacted the city and the company that owns the cars' progressive rail.

"We think it's disrespectful that they are making this a parking lot in our neighborhoods there are other places they can store them in the country I've seen it," she said.

No, Ms. Steinhagen, somebody built a neighborhood around a working rail line. The tracks at issue are the Dan Patch Line, built over a century ago by the Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester and Dubuque Electric Traction Company. In fact, the neighborhood park was built by the railroad as an excursion spot for daytrippers from Minneapolis.

With freight down 20%, railroads have to put their idle cars on tracks they own, not just “out in the country”. It makes sense to keep them close to shops and yards should they be needed, and in an area where there is some policing to protect against major vandalism.

If kids play on the cars, it is a failure of parenting, not of railroad management. To some—not just kids, railcars are a thing of beauty. I would love property abutting a siding.

And on the cutesy newswriting about “filling a train tanker”, the car shown in the video as emphasis is a steel coil car, not a tanker.

But why do some research that might put facts in the way of ignorant outrage?