After living in rural Minnesota from kindergarten through college, I moved to the Twin Cities metro in 2010. Though perhaps not quite Beverly Hillbillies, a similar sentiment was expressed. I brought my rampant baseball fandom with me but it was a new house, new job, new routine—heck, even new stadium.
One thing quickly became clear: short of playing in MOA’s parking lot, neither my 1992 Ford F-150 nor its driver would be up to the task of a Target Field commute. Fortunately, my grandparents in Fridley lived a scant few miles from the Northstar Train station—and a wonderful partnership was formed.
From 2010 through 2018, I did not drive-and-park to a single Twins game. A few of those years were spent in the south metro coming up on the Blue Line light rail, but the vast majority were trips on the Northstar.
It truly was a match made in transit heaven for this outstate MN transplant. Just hop on the train and not have to worry about the rat race of downtown. Even the half-hour postgame wait for departure didn’t seem so bad, as it was time spent discussing the game’s fanfares or foibles with friends, family, or perfect strangers in the adjoining seats.
My all-time favorite Northstar Train story...
Circa 2011, my sister and I boarded the locomotive for a night game when a group of adolescents started tossing around a carrot. Yes—a carrot. A conductor approached them with a quizzical expression and asked “where did that carrot come from?”. One of the kids—without missing a beat—answered “the ground”. We chuckled for quite awhile over that.
Upon moving to Mankato in 2019, I wasn’t punching my Northstar ticket anymore. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and all Twins Express service ceased. It still hasn’t restarted and a return does not look imminent.
I’m back in the TC ‘burbs now, but have to burn petrol to get to each game. I’ve developed a pretty good routine and am more confident at—if no fonder of—navigating the Minneapolis downtown. But I have no doubt that the between-the-skyscrapers trek to 1 Twins Way deflates many a potential family baseball outing, so it saddens me that such a convenient way to get to Target Field has been unceremoniously removed from the equation.
Do you miss riding the Northstar line to Twins games?
This poll is closed
Yes—I loved it!
No—I never really used it