The Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission has launched a new website with information about the proposed 110-mph rail line between the Twin Cities and Chicago.
The commission is made up of local elected officials — most from cities and counties along or near the route — who favor the train, so their site contains advocacy along with facts about proposed routes and updates about funding proposals.
And to those who’d like the route to swing through Rochester, rather than along existing tracks along the Mississippi River, the group says:
Though there has been some discussion about alternative routes for Minnesota’s first-ever high-speed rail train, the Mississippi River route has been designated as the national priority route by the Federal Railroad Administration. The River Route is the only shovel-ready high-speed rail route that connects the Twin Cities to Chicago.
They say that even those not on the route will benefit:
The River Route high-speed rail line will provide up to $2.3 billion in economic benefits for the state of Minnesota, and even more for the Midwest as a whole. Additionally, the proposed high-speed rail line will create 1,600 permanent jobs in Minnesota, not including the 15,000 construction jobs and 57,000 permanent jobs in the Midwest.
Improving the River Route’s rail infrastructure will also increase freight rail capacity by 80 percent, allowing more agricultural commodities and industrial goods to be transported within Minnesota and from Minnesota to the rest of the country. These economic benefits will help increase commerce opportunities and encourage businesses to expand their operations more widely across the region.