High-speed rail line future link for St Paul

January 19, 2012 by  

It appears that state officials favour a stop in Milwaukee along the route of a proposed rapid-transit rail corridor linking St. Paul with Chicago, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Print companies with corporate offices and retail outlets in all three centers favor the draft report which was recently submitted to the Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority. The proposal indicated that the railway, which would travel at a speed of 90 to 110 mph, would most likely follow the Amtrack and Canadian Pacific freight lines which currently run through Milwaukee. It was the favored choice over Eau Claire and Madison. The high-speed route would be 400 miles in length and travel time is estimated to be five and a half hours.

Commissioners from Ramsey County sit on the seven-member rail authority board and have endorsed the proposal without one abstention.

The members have firm hope in making the renovated Union Depot next to St. Paul’s Kellogg Boulevard a transit hub, which would link public bus service and rail with passengers on the rapid transit line. The proposal outlines six round-trip routes a day between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Chicago.

Plans are still in draft form and would not become a reality for years to come. State officials would still require federal government funding and building proposals from across the US.

With no firm date in mind, the department of transportation has still begun looking at the impact on the environment along the 400-mile route, and any upgrades along the Amtrack and CP rail lines done from this point onward will meet high-speed criteria.