Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission
In This Issue
In the News
High-Speed Rail Commission begins study for second Amtrak train 

La Crosse Area Planning Committee looks to improve rail services

Midwest's high-speed 'Charger' locomotives one step closer to service

Duluth is Praised by Transportation Secretary

Quick Links

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
September 21, 2016
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Second Train Study Update
The current "Second Train" study will be split into two phases, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission is focusing its efforts on adding a second daily round trip passenger rail train between the Twin Cities and Chicago to prove that demand is there for more service. The second train complements existing Amtrak Empire Builder service.

Praveena Pidaparthi and Dan Krom of the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Passenger Rail Office provided an update at the September commission meeting. They indicated that the first phase will evaluate alternatives for track and other infrastructure improvements required for a second round trip, along with anticipated costs. Phase two of the project will complete environmental analysis and generate a service development plan. Phase two would begin after phase one's completion next year, could take a year and a half, and is not currently funded.

MnDOT, with support from the MN HSR Commission, will again seek funds for the passenger rail office at the 2017 Minnesota legislative session.
East Metro Rail Continuity Project Moving Forward
The Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority is soliciting proposals to complete engineering, modeling, financial planning, and environmental analysis for rail capacity improvements to complete the East Metro Rail Yards Improvement Project. The project will increase rail capacity for freight growth and future rail connections to Union Depot by improving rail network bottlenecks between Union Depot in St. Paul and Hastings. This area accommodates five percent of the nations freight rail volume.

Get more background here.
Read the 2012 Capacity Study here.
Commission Member Spotlight 
James Pomeroy is a County Commissioner in Winona County who has been in public service since 1987. His interest in high-speed rail in Minnesota is driven by being competitive and convenient, "We can bring rail up to speed to rival what is provided in other countries, which will result in faster travel time for passengers and freight."

Learn more about James on the Member Spotlight.
River Route Spotlight: Winona County

Winona County contains several cities represented on the Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission including Winona, St. Charles and Utica. Winona County is home to several historic sites including Sugar Loaf Bluff in Winona, Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Charles and Pickwick Mill. The county is known for beautiful sites, parks, outdoor activities, and world renowned businesses and universities.

Learn more about Winona County on the River Route Spotlight.
MN HSR Commission Update 
A half-dozen members of the public were the first to participate in the public comment portion of the commission's September meeting. The commission plans to feature a comment section for the foreseeable future, and is especially interested in public input on the second train study.

A committee of the commission has been reviewing and updating the group's joint-powers agreement. A number of changes were reviewed with the commission. The next steps for the committee are to look into its funding formula and into its requirement that all commission members be elected officials.
The commission's next meeting is Thursday, November 3 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. 
River Route Events
Fall along the River Route means cooler weather, fall colors, beautiful scenery, and plenty of events. Here's a few to check out:
SeptOberfest - Wabasha - Now through October 23
It's a River Route fall tradition that is too big for just one month. Wabasha hosts a ton of great fall events for the whole family.
Boats and Bluegrass - Winona - September 22 through 25
This Family friendly festival features camping, music, and a great laid back environment
Oktoberfest - La Crosse - September 29 through October 2
It's time for the 56th annual celebration of family, friends and fun in La Crosse, WI. Break out the lederhosen get ready to dance!
Apple Festival - Hastings - October 1&2, 8&9, 15&16
The River Route has plenty of apple-related activities every fall. These annual apple festivals at Afton Apple Orchard are family favorites.
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!