Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission
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After 43 years, Union Depot marks return of passenger trains
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MNHSR Fast Facts
The proposed River Route will cut more than two hours (from eight hours currently to approximately five and a half hours) from the existing Amtrak service from Union Depot in St. Paul to downtown Chicago.
June 10, 2014

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High-speed rail scores minor win at legislature 


The Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission advocated for a number of priorities during the 2014 Minnesota legislative session, including a state bond fund request, 

a reallocation of revenues to the state's passenger rail office and a policy change to the approval process for

passenger rail projects. No funds were appropriated but the policy change was enacted. 

June Spotlight: Train Capacity Modeling Underway 

In 2005 more than 9.7 million trips were taken annually between the Twin Cities and Chicago. This number is forecast to grow to 11.3 million in 2030 with high-speed rail accounting for 1.7 million of the trips. But what improvements will be needed for the railroad to meet increased demand for passenger rail?


A train capacity modeling study, part of the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement currently underway along the River Route, will help answer that question. Capacity modeling considers many factors in determining the maximum number of trains that can effectively be moved between two locations in one day to meet the needs of passengers and freight. The study carefully assesses line capacity, train yards, crew and equipment capacity.  Capacity estimates for passenger ridership and freight are compared with historical data, future growth trends and future projections. Studies assess infrastructure requirements necessary to support increases to assure sustainable capacity and reliability.


It is a complex, time-consuming study, but a very important step towards possible expansion of passenger rail service and implementation of high-speed rail service.


Jerry visits Goodview July 7 

Want to learn more about the benefits high-speed rail could bring to the Mississippi River Route? Jerry Miller is your man! Miller believes future success for high-speed passenger rail will largely be built by developing strategic alliances with business and community leaders along the route. His next presentation will be to the Goodview City Council at their meeting July 7 at 5 p.m. The public is invited to attend.


Miller, former mayor of Winona and former chair of the Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission, is the Commission's community liaison. If you'd like to pursue an engaging presentation with Jerry Miller for your group, please contact us at minnesotahighspeedrail@gmail.com.  

A look back at National Train Day
The 3rd annual National Train Day took place Saturday, May 10 with a variety of festivities at Union Depot in Saint Paul and 90 miles down the river in Winona.

This year's theme, Trains Matter, celebrated trains and train travel. The celebration coincided with the first week of service by Amtrak's Empire Builder to Union Depot.

Bill Spitzer, chair of the Minnesota High Speed Rail Commission, and Junior Conductor, Keegan Spitzer, handed out Bloedow's donuts to Empire Builder passengers on National Train Day.
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