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
June 2, 2016
Greetings!
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.
Second Train Assessment Set to Begin
Good progress is being made on the next phase of work that will bring a second daily round-trip passenger train to the Amtrak at Union Depot Twin Cities to Chicago corridor. A productive meeting occurred between project managers and the Federal Railroad Administration in April, project partners have finalized a scope of service for an environmental assessment, and a consultant was selected to complete the assessment.

A coalition of funding partners committed earlier this year to a majority of the cost of the assessment, including the Minnesota High Speed Rail Commission, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, and La Crosse Area Planning Committee. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is the lead agency on the project.

After the environmental analysis is completed and approved in 2017, track improvements could begin and train sets could be purchased, depending on funding.
Legislative Update: Nothing ... Yet!
The Minnesota Legislature completed its session a couple of weeks ago, and passenger rail funding was left out of the State Capitol mix. A number of projects that could potentially impact the Minnesota High-Speed Rail project were included in a bonding bill proposal, but a bonding bill was not passed. The Governor could call legislators back to the Capitol for a special session - we will have to wait and see.

Some rail projects that could be funded: 
  • Environmental analysis and engineering for a rail grade separation at Westminster Junction and Division Street in Saint Paul 
  • Railroad Warning Devices 
  • The Minnesota Rail Service Improvement Program 
  • Rail quiet zones in Goodview and Minnesota City
River Route Spotlight: Saint Paul
A new feature on the Minnesota High-Speed Rail website is the River Route Spotlight, highlighting the great destinations along the River Route. 

We are kicking things off with the capital city, the Saintly City, Pig's Eye, better known as Saint Paul. The Spotlight includes things to do, major businesses, educational opportunities, and even a little bit of history! 

Click here  to learn more about the Most Livable City in America! 

Speakers Bureau Update 

The Minnesota High-Speed Rail Speakers Bureau is available to present about high-speed rail along the River Route and the progress on upgrades and studies throughout the region.
Hastings Rotary Presentation
MNHSR Commission Vice-Chair Andru Peters and former Chair Bill Spitzer spoke at a recent Rotary Club meeting in Hastings to bring the community up to speed on progress being made for increased rail travel in the area.
Union Depot in Saint Paul hosted Train Days on April 30 and May 1, attracting an estimated 10,000 visitors with several train-related activities including the Amtrak Exhibit Train, the Hiawatha, model railroads and much more! Andru Peters was on hand to talk high-speed rail and spoke with hundreds of visitors. Visitors took information and free buttons, and got their questions answered.

If you would like a presentation for your organization, please email info@mnhighspeedrail.com
MN HSR Commission Update 
The Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission met Thursday, May 5. In addition to project and legislative updates, the commission received an update from Dan Krom, MnDOT, on a survey about passenger rail of university and college students in the Midwest. Among the findings: 
  • Nearly a quarter of the participants have ridden Amtrak trains to or from school
  • 68 percent said they consider passenger-rail service important to the United States' transportation future.
Click here for additional results.

The commission's next meeting is Thursday, July 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Jury Assembly Room at the Goodhue County Justice Center, 454 W. 6th Street, Red Wing, MN 55066. 
Thank you!
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Thank you for your interest in High-Speed Rail!