Plans progressing for high-speed rail to Chicago

Categories: Transportation
Thumbnail image for high speed train.jpg
Take the noon train from Minneapolis to the 7 p.m. Twins-Sox game in Chicago? Possibly in a few years.
Imagine hopping on a train in downtown Minneapolis and getting off less than six hours later in the heart of Chicago, with a stop in Milwaukee in between.

Sound farfetched? Right now, it might, but the Minnesota Department of Transportation is moving ahead with plans for a 400-mile, high-speed rail line that would connect the Midwest's two most happening cities. (Sorry, Omaha.)

MnDOT's plan involves a rail line that would originate at the Minneapolis Transportation interchange near Target Field. From there, the train, which at times could travel up to 110-mph, would make stops in St. Paul, Red Wing, Winona, La Crosse, and Milwaukee before heading south to Chicago.

The Pioneer Press reports that the St. Paul City Council voted last night to support that route configuration, as did the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

MnDOT is currently studying environmental impacts along the route, work that will extend into next year. Once the environmental study is complete, the agency will look for funding for preliminary engineering and design work.

The Minneapolis-La Crosse-Milwaukee-Chicago route isn't yet set in stone, however. The city of Eau Claire, in particular, is miffed about the fact that the proposed route bypasses the hometown of Bon Iver all together.

As the Eau Caire Leader-Telegram reports, the West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition is lobbying the Federal Railroad Administration to reject MnDOT's proposed route. The report quotes the coalition's co-chairman as saying the FTA could take up to a year to make a decision on MnDOT's proposal.

So, as is typically the case with major transportation projects of this sort, things move slowly. It'll still be at least a few years before taking the train to Chicago takes less than eight hours (as is the case with Amtrak's Empire Builder), but it appears MnDOT is working hard to make it happen before the decade is through. 


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34 comments
hendricks.jon
hendricks.jon

Or, for a fraction the cost of a HSR line, we could build a 120mph robotic car lane and get there in 3 hours 20 minutes.

Anon
Anon

What are the political or otherwise nefarious reasons for wanting to connect Minneapolis to Chicago so tightly? Hmm? 

pizza
pizza

You're missing the point Michelle. I bet even Foureyes realizes his error or he probably would have shot back. So here's your lesson: It's not about GIVING someone facts, that's secondary. It's about asking the right questions, learning to use the tools, something people with closed minds never attempt. But since you don't know how to ask questions effectively and you are dumb enough to argue for your own limitations, here is a link http://www.midwesthsr.org/proj... .      Also, is it really wise to throw money into a boondoggle while in the middle of a debt crisis, when there are hungry children on the street and children that get shot in the face in their homes right here in MN? 

  

Budster55113
Budster55113

I really dislike the rating [like-dislike bottons].If a person likes the artical it shows LIKES but if a person dosen't like the artical,it dosen't show up as Disliked.BUT 4 PEOPLE LIKE IT THAT ALL THAT COUN'Ts

East Coast Doug
East Coast Doug

It would be great if it could stop in Rochester, Pararie DuChine, EuClaire, East Bum Fuck, Madison, Miluwakee, L.A., did I forget a stop?  How about the Century Building in Mpls?

East Coast Doug
East Coast Doug

Lotsa Negroes want to upgrade from da bus, to da train!

Coffeeauthority
Coffeeauthority

110 mph is not high speed rail. The Milwaukee road Hiawatha ran at that speed regularly way back in 1935.  High speed  in the 21st century is over 200 mph

Kap
Kap

Sorry Eau Claire, but look at a map.  You'd be a detour.  You have an interstate, don't forget.

omgurdens
omgurdens

What about hipster and urban woodsman eau claire pilgrimages? 

Lee
Lee

Why not run that sucker all the way to New York? Obviously cost is no object. This stuff is mind blowing retarted.

David Foureyes
David Foureyes

But would high-speed bus be cheaper?

Sorry Aaron, had to do it.

pizza
pizza

Why not drive it in the same time? Or get there in under an hour via plane? Both options cost about as much as a train ticket.

DaCosta
DaCosta

Why not just add something simpler, like an overnight train to Chicago?Why not stop in Madison? There are tons of Minn-Wis students going back and forth.

Joe Fifield
Joe Fifield

But why not stop in Madison? Is the capitol city of Wisconsin not important these days?

Teeberguy
Teeberguy

Would be a great benefit to those of us traveling UpNorth to see our children and grandchildren.......

Steve
Steve

I thought Scott Walker in his infinite wisdom already but a knife in this

theGuy_from_Minny
theGuy_from_Minny

Uneducated are we? Minneapolis and Chicago have some of the most common trade items and are by far the most traveled between Midwest cities (Obviously except for Milwaukee-Chicago). i can't even guess the huge number of companies that have regional headquarters in each city, which cause higher travel between them. Yes you can drive there. Yes you can fly there. Rail is not only faster, but smarter (Meaning 'greener'). However, this is not just about the one route. If Chicago is made into a national high-speed rail hub, with routes to international cities such as NYC and L.A., we may be able to 'catch up' to China, Japan, and Taiwan, where high-speed rail is a huge success. 

Do us all a favor and think before you make another worthless comment.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

I dislike this comment.  Poorly written.  Not proper grammar.

Captain Kirk
Captain Kirk

actually I-94 goes right through Eau Claire, get a map buddy

Joe
Joe

No, I think it is your articulate response to this article that is "mind blowing retarted"

Chris
Chris

I agree completely.  This is a complete joke.  A train that does 110 mph is pathetic. That's 1950s technology. I wouldn't take it.  Now, if you put in a train that goes 210 or more mph, then that would be progress and something to celebrate.  I live in Taiwan at the moment.   They have trains that leave the main city every 15 minutes and travel at speeds of 210+ miles per hour to the south of the island. A distance similar to the one described here travelled in 2 hours!

David Foureyes
David Foureyes

Because driving sucks and you have to pay to fix your car and you can't read while driving and you can sleep on the train and you can watch a movie on the train and you can have a drink on the train and you can get up and not sit on your ass the whole fucking time on the train and there are no jack-knifed semis, minivans, FIBS or FISHTABS on the rail and...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

captain kirk
captain kirk

whoops my bad i thought you said Eau Claire doesn't even have an interstate. insert comments about how stupid i am as you please.

Chris
Chris

up  date...it does 200 mph and covers 214 miles in 96 minutes.

pizza
pizza

Whether you're being sarcastic or dead real, your response is a great summation of everything wrong with American attitudes.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

Nothing convinces me more of a point of view when the one making the arguement refuses to give facts.  Well played!   I can see you are from the Glen Beck School of Debate only $1495 for a semester class.  

pizza
pizza

Sure, rail line from mpls to chi sounds great. So does having multiple wives until you chop it up. It would be pointless if I threw facts at you because you would probably immediately dismiss them. I challenge you to look how much the project would cost taxpayers, not to mention subsidies for maintenance, how many projected would actually use services, and how after track is completed already be years behind technologically.

After you do your research and realize a train to chi actually sucks, I recommend you then take a look at yourself in the mirror and repeat 80 times, "I am the reason democracies actually suck"

David Foureyes
David Foureyes

Did you have a counter argument about how spectacular it is to drive and how gas will keep getting cheaper through magic or did you just want to look foolish some more?

allen
allen

No, YOU"RE what's wrong with American attitudes. Why would you NOT want more trains around? They are far more efficient than cars and cause less pollution if it's the right kind of train. You just think about what it costs for yourself, and not thinking about what's better for the community as a whole. 

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