Zip Line high-speed rail to be developed - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Zip Line high-speed rail to be developed

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- High-speed rail is one step closer to becoming a reality between Rochester and the Twin Cities.

Friday afternoon, the Olmsted County Regional Railroad Authority and the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced they will begin developing the Zip Line high-speed rail corridor.

The two organizations recently signed an agreement to move forward with a $2.3 million planning effort to put the 150+ mile per hour high-speed rail service in place.

"We are excited to work with our local partners to develop this important rail corridor.  Rochester needs to be better connected to the Twin Cities, said Dan Krom, director of MnDOT's Passenger Rail Office.  "This project will provide a new transportation option for Minnesotans, since no direct rail connection currently exists between the Twin Cities and Rochester."

MnDOT is in the process of creating a network of passenger rail services connecting major population centers in Minnesota.

Earlier this week, MnDOT announced that the existing route of the AMTRAK Empire Builder passenger rail service was selected as the preferred route for a 110 mile per hour passenger rail connection between Chicago and the Twin Cities.

Kristine Hernandez of MnDOT says, "This is part of a long term plan to build a world-class transportation system, in the state of Minnesota. They don't need to be competing rail-lines. They are supposed to be complementary. There will be others built throughout the state that actually will help move goods and services more efficiently."

Olmsted County commissioner Ken Brown said, "I am pleased that MnDOT has restated their continued support for the Zip Line project. MnDOT's earlier statements that did not include the Rochester-Twin Cities high speed corridor as a priority were unfortunate and caused unnecessary confusion.  The Zip Line project is at the top of the County's priority list."

 

 

 

 

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