Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission
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MNHSR Fast Facts
The construction cost of High-Speed Rail is estimated at $7.1 million per mile from St. Paul to Milwaukee compared to $12.2 million per mile to add a lane of highway in each direction between St. Paul and Milwaukee.

 More Fast Facts and FAQs
March 19, 2015 
Thank you for your interest in Minnesota High-Speed Rail. Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who may be interested in high-speed rail news.

In January, MnDOT released its study on Improvements to Highway-Rail Grade Crossings and Rail Safety with recommended safety upgrades to dozens of highway-rail

grade crossings including several along the proposed Minnesota High-Speed Rail River Route. 

The 2014 Minnesota legislature called for the study to address concerns about highway-rail grade crossings and the safety improvements needed to ensure trains carrying hazardous material  such as crude oil from the Bakken oil fields, safely reach their destinations while assuring the safety of the state's citizens.





Twin Cities to Milwaukee High-Speed Rail

The Tier 1 Environmental Impact Study (EIS) modeling between Milwaukee and Union Depot is completed and is now under review by MnDOT. Modeling between Union Depot and Target Field Station has started. A draft Scoping Decision Document as required by the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) is being prepared. 


The Tier 1 EIS analysis will begin once the scoping process is completed. MnDOT has been in discussion with BNSF and Canadian Pacific railroads along with the Federal Railroad Administration on capacity needs, modeling, and host railroad capital improvement plans between the two downtowns. Meetings with operations staff from both railroads will further refine capital cost estimates.


Second Daily Train to Chicago Study

Earlier in March, the final draft report was sent to the states (Wisconsin and Minnesota) for review. Preliminary results show good ridership and revenues, arrivals/departure times that complement the current Empire Builder schedule, necessary track improvement costs, and equipment needs. Next steps include preparing a summary document, a discussion on cost allocation between Wisconsin and Minnesota, preparing a required environmental document, and negotiating improvement options with Canadian Pacific.   



The House Transportation and Finance Committee conducted two meetings focused on freight and passenger rail. On February 9, Kevin Reed, Director of Homeland Security and Operations at the Department of Public Safety, gave remarks on emergency response for oil incidents. On February 2, Bill Gardner, Director of the Minnesota Department of Transportation Freight Office, presented an overview of freight rail and economic development. Scott County Commissioner Mike Beard and former Chair of Transportation Policy and Finance Committee, gave an overview of the Freight Rail Economic Development Report. Read more about current bills under review at the Legislature.  



At its January meeting, the Commission elected Commissioner Janice Rettman, Ramsey County, as 2015 board chair and Councilmember Andru Peters, City of Lake City, as vice-chair. Several new board members also were elected to the Commission. See the full list of Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission members.

Commission Vice-Chair Andru Peters
Commission Chair Janice Rettman
A great day for an Amtrak trip will be Saturday, May 9, when fun and engaging activities will occur at many train stations all over the country, including Union Depot in St. Paul. Watch for updates on the Minnesota High-Speed Rail Corridor Facebook page. 

Perhaps you'll be treated to world-famous Bloedow's donuts at the Winona station!



The Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission continues its community outreach to promote the benefits of the Minnesota High-Speed Rail project. 


Here are some upcoming events you are welcome to attend:

Tuesday, April 28 at 12 noon: Jerry Miller, Minnesota High-Speed Rail advocate, will visit the Red Wing Rotary Club at the St. James Hotel's Mississippi Room (406 Main St. 

Red Wing, MN 55066)

Wednesday, May 20 at 12 noon: Jerry Miller will visit the La Crescent Chamber of Commerce at Corky's Pizza (25 South Walnut Street, La Crescent, MN  55947)

If you would like to schedule a Minnesota High-Speed Rail presentation for your business or civic group please contact: minnesotahighspeedrail@gmail.com.

Thank you!
Learn more about the Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission at our website, or Like us on Facebook.

Thank you for your interest in High-Speed Rail!