Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How Many Trains Could Pass Through Southeast Sioux Falls?

Several weeks ago, during two public meetings on the project, the city indicated it would mean only one additional train per week. But BNSF officials in Minneapolis said there would be more traffic than that.

“They didn’t give us a number, but they made it clear there was more than that, and we could see more train traffic in that area,” said Council Chairwoman Sue Aguilar, one of the 10 who went on the trip.

The rumor mill is that there could be more than 25 trains per week that would travel through southeast Sioux Falls back and forth between downtown and  the Canton siding alternative out there in all that residential development. Can you imagine an additional 25 trains or more moving through all those grade crossings in east and southeast Sioux Falls?

Can you imagine the traffic problems?Why would the city indicate one additional train per week to people at the public meeting when they really didn't have any idea how many trains could be passing through Sioux Falls on its way out of downtown and on the way back into downtown?

How many of those trains are going to be parked along that second alternative siding out there in southeast Sioux Falls. All those people who are up in arms about Walmart building one of their superstores in a residential environment at 69th and Southeastern should be just as upset about this railroad relocation option.

Trains and more trains meandering through southeast Sioux Falls need bridge overpasses at Marson Drive, 49th and Southeastern, 26th and Southeastern, River Boulevard and Southeastern and Cliff and 12th Street, like the ones at 69th Street and 57th Street. Where would the city get money for that kind of infrastructure?  The traffic problems, noise problems and the enviromental impact to residential property values in southeast Sioux Falls will be severely impacted by this railroad relocation option.

Tell us Mr. Mayor and City Council - how many trains does BNSF say could be traveling through all those residential areas of east and southeast Sioux Falls if you approve the Canton siding alternative in the railroad relocation project.

Oh, wait the mayor said this in the ARGUS Leader yesterday:  Huether declined to say what options BNSF liked and what options it didn’t for removing the yard and rerouting trains through Sioux Falls. Several options, including the new bridge at Falls Park, are part of an ongoing federal environmental assessment study. “Sincerely, until that environmental assessment is complete, it’s not appropriate for me to comment one way or another on any of the options,” he said.

I would like to hear more about this meeting with BNSF. What exactly did they say? What options did they like and dislike and why? Why doesn't the public have a right to know?  Why is everything such a big secret? No information means rumors abound.


  1. It is very arrogant of the Mayor to not state what options they are REALLY looking at regarding this project. Where is the "open government" process he is always touting? In reality he doesn't want the "fine people of Sioux Falls" to know what he is up to as he knows they will rally together and fight his ideas. The environmental assessment process is a joke. Sioux Falls will declare where they want the rail lines relocated and the Feds will check off on it.

  2. ‎25+ trains per week coming from downtown Sioux Falls to southeast Sioux Falls so they can add/remove engines and then go back downtown and head out of town?!? I live by this proposed siding alternative and from my house to my store downtown, it is approximately 6 1/2 miles. The city is proposing that these 25+ trains/week travel 13 miles (give or take a mile), round trip, so that we free up downtown land for development? I'm all for more development downtown, but not at the expense of my property value and the quality of life of the entire southeast side of Sioux Falls! This does not belong in a residential area.

  3. Train traffic is a huge concern; but, imagine the sounds of these enormous trains coupling and uncoupling. That's a sound you'll hear from a consider distance. I wouldn't want it in my back yard.