The Hastings and Dakota railroad line made a contract with the Minneapolis and St. Louis to use its lines from Hopkins into Minneapolis and began to run trains through the Park in 1876. The line began in 1857 as the Hastings, Minnesota River, and Red River of the North, renamed in March 1867 the Hastings and Dakota Railway Co. By 1872 it had built the line from Hastings to Glencoe. In June 1872 the line was sold to the Minneapolis and St. Paul Railway Company. After it had built the western end of the line to Ortonville, the railway decided to build its own tracks and no longer use the Minneapolis and St. Louis tracks.

In January 1880 the line was sold to the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Company, aka the Milwaukee Road. Minneapolis’s Milwaukee Road Depot was located at Bass Lake, opposite the grain elevators. The Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway had been incorporated on May 5, 1863 and changed its name to the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway on February 11, 1874.

St. Louis Park’s Milwaukee Road Depot was built in 1887.  It was originally located at 36th Street and Alabama Ave., south of the tracks.

According to a letter dated 1971 from the railroad, the earliest record of passenger service to St. Louis Park appears on a May 1893 timetable. The train made two trips into and two from Minneapolis per day. Passenger service was discontinued in 1955.

On December 31, 1927, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul was deeded to the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, which was incorporated on March 31, 1927. The company continued to be known as the Milwaukee Road.


1935 Menu courtesy Minnesota Historical Society


Marie Hartmann remembered that a Mr. Cox and later Mr. Nemec would guard or direct traffic at the railroad crossing at Brunswick, which used to be a route over the tracks.  The men would stand between the tracks and hold a hand stop sign.

The Milwaukee Road merged with the Soo Line in 1986.

On July 26, 1991 it became the Twin Cities and Western Railroad.  It was one of more than 500 smaller railroads that operate in the U.S., many of which formed after the Staggers Act deregulated railroads in 1980.  The line runs for 229 miles and in 2011 employs 68 people, many at the railroad’s headquarters in Glencoe.  It operates about 18,000 carloads per year.

In 2010 Hennepin County proposed a plan to reroute trains that travel south of Highway 7 and east of Cedar Lake along the Kenilworth line in Minneapolis to the Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern line that runs north and south through St. Louis Park, thus allowing room for the bike path and light rail to run side by side.  The proposal has met with resistance from some residents who formed a group called “Safety in the Park.”