Rochester still on potential high speed passenger rail route - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester still on potential high speed passenger rail route

Updated:

ROCHESTER (KTTC) -- Minnesota Department of Transportation officials are estimating within the next five years a high speed passenger rail line will be constructed between Chicago and the Twin Cities.

The news was announced Monday evening at a meeting to gather public input on all possible routes.

Out of the proposed routes, two of them include stops in Rochester.

One line would begin in Milwaukee with stops in Winona, Rochester and Owatonna before arriving in the cities.

The other line would begin in Milwaukee with stops in La Crosse, Winona and Rochester, before heading to the cities.

State officials are hoping to gather information for an environmental impact study. MnDOT's Director of Passenger Rail said Mayo Clinic has no affect over whether or not the rail line passes through Rochester.

"We're really looking at socio-economic data, environmental criteria, rider ship and the condition of rail lines so it's not as subjective as some may think. It's all done out in the open and it's all technically based.We're just sharing with folks today what the technological data is that we're going to be looking at, and coming back in the spring and reviewing what was said about the different corridors," said Dan Krom.

The meeting comes after an announcement by Wisconsin's Governor-elect, Scott Walker, who plans to turn away $810 million in federal stimulus money to pay for the rail service.

More high speed rail meetings are set for this spring. The number of potential rails routes will be decreased to 3-5.

Powered by Frankly