Built on the site of the old Northern Pacific yard in Minneapolis, the BN Northtown Yard was built between 1971 and 1976, and includes a classification yard, engine house and car repair facility. At its peak, the yard had 63 classification tracks and nine departure tracks with a capacity of 1,484 cars and 12 receptions sidings with a capacity of 1,472 cars, along with 27 sidings accommodating 1,026 cars. Since the BNSF merger, 16 classification tracks have been mothballed and classification throughput has fallen from 2,000 to 600 cars per day. In 1998, before traffic began to fall off, there were daily manifests to Chicago, Galesburg, Grand Forks, Memphis, Minot, Tulsa and Winnipeg.
The yard lies north of downtown Minneapolis, on the east side of the Mississippi, along the old NP line north to St. Cloud.