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The Wayzata Subdivision or Wayzata Sub is a railway line that runs about 93 miles (150 km) from Willmar to Minneapolis, Minnesota.[1][2] Currently operated by BNSF Railway, this was part of the Great Northern Railway's transcontinental line from Minneapolis to Seattle, Washington. Today, BNSF's Northern Transcon travels up the Staples Subdivision instead, which is a more direct route to Fargo, North Dakota. As of May, 2011, the route is of moderate capacity and typically sees around 15 trains per day.

Wayzata Subdivision
BNSF 7608 at dusk.jpg
A BNSF intermodal enters the Wayzata Subdivision in Minneapolis at dusk in 2008.
OwnerBNSF Railway
Line length93 mi (150 km)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Route map
102.3 mi Willmar
former line to St. Cloud
98.0 CP 98
96.6 Kandiyohi
89.2 Atwater
84.1 Grove City
76.4 Litchfield
70.3 Darwin
65.2 Dassel
59.2 Cokato
53.0 Howard Lake
45.3 Montrose
38.6 Delano
31.6 Maple Plain
29.7 Long Lake
24.3 Wayzata (Great Northern Depot)
13.0 Cedar Lake Junction
to CP Bass Lake Spur (TC&W)
12.4 Lyndale Junction
to Monticello Subdivision
11.7 Holden Street
Target Field station
10.9 Stadium
10.8 Minneapolis Great Northern Depot
Minneapolis BNSF Rail Bridge
9.5 Minneapolis Junction

U.S. Highway 12 closely follows the Wayzata Subdivision. At its western end in Willmar, there are connections to the Morris Subdivision to Breckenridge, Minnesota[3] and the Marshall Subdivision to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The line meets the Midway Subdivision in Minneapolis at the eastern end.

Some Great Northern passenger trains ran along this line, though service was cut back to just the Empire Builder upon the formation of Amtrak in 1971. Service to the Minneapolis Great Northern Depot stopped in the late 1978, when trains were shifted to Midway station in Saint Paul. The Empire Builder changed to its modern routing along the Staples Subdivision in late 1979 when the North Coast Hiawatha ended service.

There wasn't any passenger service on the line from that time until November 2009 when the Northstar commuter rail line began operation. The commuter train's southern terminus at Target Field station is at the extreme eastern end of the line. The Cedar Lake Trail bicycle route (and its continuation, the Hutchinson Spur) runs parallel to the Wayzata Sub from St. Louis Park into downtown Minneapolis[4][5] along former Great Northern and Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway right-of-way. The proposed Southwest Corridor light-rail line will briefly parallel the Wayzata Subdivision from the vicinity of Lyndale Junction to Cedar Lake Junction.[6]


  1. ^ Don Winter. "Willmar to Lyndale Junction (Minneapolis)". Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  2. ^ Don Winter. "Lyndale Junction to Minneapolis Junction". Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  3. ^ "BNSF Morris Subdivision Maintenance of Way Project". BNSF Customer Updates. BNSF Railway. August 22, 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
  4. ^ "Cedar Lake Trail". Trail Reviews. Minnesota Inline Skate Club. Retrieved September 18, 2010.
  5. ^ "Hutchinson Spur Trail". Trail Reviews. Minnesota Inline Skate Club. Retrieved September 18, 2010.
  6. ^ "Possible Routes". Southwest Transitway. Retrieved September 18, 2010.