Timeline of the Southwest LRT freight rail debate

By Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
Sept. 11, 2012

The quandary over what to do with freight trains that currently use segments of the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit route goes back nearly two decades. The impasse has sent the transit project's price tag -- now estimated now more than $1.6 billion -- galloping way ahead of initial estimates.

With the fate of what would be the state's most expensive public-works project now teetering on uncertainty, much of the debate centers on one question: Did the city of St. Louis Park ever agree to accept the freight? Government documents going back nearly two decades stop short of spelling out any legal promises, but city and Hennepin County officials held serious discussions on the matter.

Graphic by Robert Boos, Minnesota Public Radio