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Commission supports rail improvement funding

Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission March 7, 2013

The Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission approved a resolution of support for a request for funding of rail improvements in the east metro at its March 7 meeting. The $10 million state bonding request is being made by the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority for improvements between downtown St. Paul and Hastings and would benefit both freight rail operations as well as passenger rail.

The request comes after the completion of the East Metro Rail Capacity Study in 2012 by the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority in cooperation with the Red Rock Corridor Commission. The study analyzed the existing capacity along the BNSF and Canadian Pacific rail corridor between downtown St. Paul and Hastings. It identified multiple bottlenecks that constrain the movement of existing freight and passenger trains. Without capacity improvements, these bottlenecks will increase congestion on this nationally and regionally significant freight rail corridor.

Click here to read the resolution of support.

The commission also heard a report on transportation recommendations from the Minnesota Transportation Finance Advisory Committee. The report, released late last year, outlines funding needs over next 20 years at status quo funding levels ($39 billion), maintaining current performance ($60 billion) and an economically competitive/world-class system ($95 billion).

Read the full report or a summary here.

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Resources

Onboard Midwest The St. Paul Chamber of Commerce's website supporting high-speed rail from the Twin Cities to Chicago

Onboard Midwest videos

Amtrak Cascades video (WMV file, best viewed with RealPlayer)

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Fact Sheet: About Minnesota High-Speed Rail

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