While there was probably a lot of fanfare and celebrating giving millions of Federal tax dollars to Warren Buffet today at a press conference (and probably millions more in city tax dollars), the project doesn’t do much in stopping or slowing train traffic downtown. Besides tearing out the old railyard, two train tracks in the same area will remain.

I have also noticed that traffic has increased over Cliff Avenue downtown near Avera hospital. Over the past month I have had to wait for trains to cross during the noon hour twice and once at 5 PM on a Friday Afternoon.

The original idea of the RR relocation project when it was cooked up by former mayor Munson and Tim Johnson was to limit or rid Downtown Sioux Falls of rail traffic and little to do with development.

While the current administration may call the project a huge ‘WIN’ for Sioux Falls, I think by not moving rail traffic from downtown was a huge ‘FAIL’ and an enormous waste of Federal tax dollars. When they talk about ‘Pork’ in DC, these are the kind of projects they are talking about.

10 Thoughts on “The Railroad Relocation project does little to relieve downtown rail traffic

  1. The D@ily Spin on November 8, 2017 at 5:17 pm said:

    There’s 10 acres but most of it is railroad and utilities easement. It will be interesting to see the development plan. I’m thinking this a way to get political attention yet hide the fact this will be another unsubstantiated project.

  2. I live near the tracks and traffic has doubled. We now see many trains with a few cars many times a day. Moving switching operations did nothing for the citizens of this city

  3. I’m hoping it will be better once the new switchyard gets completed, but doubtful. The RR has already admitted that the trains may be shorter but more frequent.

    We can talk about the colossal mistake the siding on the EC was, but when Huether talks about how great this is, I just shake my head. He really doesn’t get it.

  4. What does it say about our overall political system, when some political leaders are more than willing to take $ 24 million from the Federal government to “relocate” some railroad tracks, while some other political leaders are unwilling to take millions more from the Federal government to expand Medicaid for the working poor in this town and state?

    Although, we are talking about two separate political groups or institutions, when we talk “relocation” and Medicaid expansion. They still both represent many of the same people, yet, there is no out cry from the masses in this town, when millions are spent on some railroad tracks while the working poor go without adequate health care…..

    All of this is just further proof that for far too long in this town and state, the phrase “economic development” has been given a blank check, except without the checks and balances….

  5. Watch this interview, BNSF tells KELO, “Train traffic will vary.”


    Besides the fact it will do NOTHING to stop train traffic DT, we paid $62 PSF for the land. Normal going rates for undeveloped commercial land (mind you land that doesn’t have to have rail lines scraped from it) goes for between $2-17 PSF in Sioux Falls. We will NEVER make back what we paid for this land, but some developers in SF will get some pretty damn good deals.

  6. The farmland on the West side of Tea Ellis road at 41st is $18 PSF.

  7. When passenger rail service becomes more wide spread again (and it will), that DT Rail ROW will become invaluable.

  8. But its been five plus years now and the high speed trains, that we were promised to go through Brandon, have yet to have shown up….

  9. I wonder how federal taxpayers in the 49 other states would feel about helping pay 40+ million dollars for this project.

    Maybe national media and watchdog groups need to be made aware of this.

  10. It’s like a former track to nowhere….

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