Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

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Silophant
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Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby Silophant » February 27th, 2017, 10:59 am

"Connection to LRT to airport" is probably more attractive than "Connection to express bus to airport" for choice riders.

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Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby David Greene » February 27th, 2017, 11:12 am

mister.shoes wrote:
February 27th, 2017, 10:45 am
Regional rail like this (moar pleez!) makes LRT for Riverview more appealing, no?
No. We studied commuter rail on this corridor and it was found to not be cost-effective. There is no way this works out. If it goes ahead, the states will be bailing it out. That in turn makes *any* LRT that much more difficult to sell.

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Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby mattaudio » February 27th, 2017, 3:22 pm

Commuter rail and regional rail are not the same.

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Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby DanPatchToget » February 27th, 2017, 3:53 pm

I don't know if there is an official definition but I define commuter rail as peak hour, peak direction service between outlying communities, suburbs, and the central business district and little to no reverse commute, midday, evening, and weekend service. Regional rail goes the same distances as commuter rail and can have more service in peak hour, peak direction, but also serves times outside peak hour and goes in both directions throughout the day.

Kind of disappointing there would only be four roundtrips per day between St. Paul and Eau Claire, but I'm assuming these would be throughout the day (one morning, two midday, and one evening trip or something like that). As for private investment, I guess we'll see how well Brightline does (a privately financed regional rail service in Florida). I'm not holding my breath on this being completely privately financed, but whether or not it is I think its worth the investment.

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Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby David Greene » February 27th, 2017, 6:47 pm

mattaudio wrote:
February 27th, 2017, 3:22 pm
Commuter rail and regional rail are not the same.
You honestly think lots of people are going to use a train from Eau Claire to St. Paul? I'm doubful, regardless of when it runs.

Regional rail to St. Cloud is a much better plan. St. Cloud - MSP - Rochester makes quite a bit of sense.

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Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby mattaudio » February 27th, 2017, 7:26 pm

I happen to think regional (not commuter) rail to large regional centers such as Duluth, Rochester, Mankato, St. Cloud, and the Southern Spine Line (Faribault/Owatonna/Albert Lea) makes quite a bit of sense. MSP-EAU has an existing track in rather good condition, and has an MSA of 205k. St. Cloud has an MSA of 201k.

We'd actually need multiple regional rail "spokes" to make the system most efficient. This would be partially due to increased O and D pairs, of course. But the big gain would be that regional services could through-route MSP with a trainset not dwelling for long at MSP. This significantly expands the capacity of SPUD or Target Field platforms and station infrastructure, and allows O&D facilities to be at lower-cost endpoints. It also allows significantly more schedule flexibility with trainsets. You could have services like EAU-STP-MSP-MKT, STC-MSP-STP-ONA/RST, or longer services like DLH-MSP-STP-AEL-DSM.

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Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby FISHMANPET » February 27th, 2017, 7:59 pm

Oh my god keep those awful airport codes where they belong, in the airport thread.
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David Greene
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Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby David Greene » February 28th, 2017, 3:43 pm

State population is quickly shifting even more toward the St. Cloud - MSP - Rochester corridor. That seems like the most bang for the buck of rail dollars.

I just can't believe Eau Claire could drive rail ridership. Duluth would seem to be a better draw and that service is far from certain.

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Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby RailBaronYarr » February 28th, 2017, 8:33 pm

I'm just going to shitpost for a second and say that since the study was overseen and approved by public agencies, the assumptions built into the ridership models and therefore the prioritization are all beyond reproach.

To the extent that any regional rail makes sense in MN, service to Eau Claire seems to as good as any other shorter rail spoke. A similar-sized city at the end to St Cloud with a few decent-sized cities in between - including another college town in Menomonie and more tourist-centric spots like Hudson and Stillwater (the latter obviously not being served directly) make for better mid-trip stops that StCloud. I'm sure you're right that from an up-front cost : ridership standpoint that St Cloud would beat Eau Claire (the rail plan estimates StP-Eau line to cost $242.6m with 268k annual riders vs the St Cloud one at $384.5m and 1.1m annual riders). But they're both still in the Tier 1 and Eau Claire has the advantage of being *on the way* to Chicago (yes, multiple paths of medium-to-high speed rail that get to Chicago are all good IMO, we don't need just one). But also, as many on this board are quick to point out regarding a regional transit system, any individual link evaluated alone misses the strength of an entire network. Building a line to Eau Claire doesn't preclude one to Duluth or Rochester or St Cloud or Mankato - it makes those very lines more valuable.

I really am not sure how likely a private operator is. Ideally the state would just upgrade the tracks and maybe if they had enough regional lines they could bid out to service operators. Maybe not. I don't know. I'm not a railfan, and honestly as a person with a car I'm still quite likely to just drive to EC rather than take a bus to a LRT to a train to get there from my S Mpls home, but having connections to many cities in the region certainly makes living car-free easier.

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Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby SkyScraperKid » February 28th, 2017, 8:55 pm

oh God, I think your getting trolled again like you guys did with that private China funded train to Rochester.
The Wisconsin rail coalition has a retired Minnesota state government rail planner shepherding its effort. “They have a very capable team,” said...
his group would stress the need to ultimately extend the line to Chicago to make it more viable. “But we support [the coalition’s] proposal,” he said.
I mean just take a look at the website.

http://www.westwisconsinrail.org

that and interesting timing right as that NAHSR group disappears without a trace. You guys are to gullible. :lol:

Although, in your defense this "guy" is taking trolling to a whole new level!

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Tiller
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Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby Tiller » March 1st, 2017, 1:38 am

So what are people's thoughts on this being an extension of the Consortium "business"? I want to find it silly that someone would put this much time and effort into trolling an obscure forum, though the coincidences are a bit wierd. Are there any other potential motivations aside from trolling?

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Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby grant1simons2 » March 3rd, 2017, 3:00 pm

So... Skyscraperkid (lance). You understand the Wisconsin Rail Coalition is just the advocacy group, right? They will play absolutely no part in funding this project. There's some bad reporting that plays a part, yes. Union Pacific is actually the private entity that's proposing the service on this route. They would operate it and pay for it. The wonderful part about having a professor who works in transportation is getting the firsthand knowledge about what's going on.


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