Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Silophant
Moderator
Posts: 3485
Joined: June 20th, 2012, 4:33 pm
Location: The Gateway

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.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4705
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

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.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7578
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

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.

DanPatchToget
Rice Park
Posts: 465
Joined: March 30th, 2016, 1:26 pm

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.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4705
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

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.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7578
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

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.

User avatar
FISHMANPET
IDS Center
Posts: 4573
Joined: June 6th, 2012, 2:19 pm
Location: Corcoran

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.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4705
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

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.

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
Posts: 2702
Joined: September 16th, 2012, 4:31 pm

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.

SkyScraperKid

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!

User avatar
Tiller
Foshay Tower
Posts: 812
Joined: January 17th, 2015, 11:58 am

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?

grant1simons2
IDS Center
Posts: 4217
Joined: February 8th, 2014, 11:33 pm
Location: Marcy-Holmes

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.

Bakken2016
Union Depot
Posts: 311
Joined: September 20th, 2017, 12:40 pm
Location: North Loop

Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby Bakken2016 » June 19th, 2018, 8:52 pm

http://m.startribune.com/all-aboard-pla ... 485980501/

I guess this is on track due to private funding


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Silophant
Moderator
Posts: 3485
Joined: June 20th, 2012, 4:33 pm
Location: The Gateway

Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby Silophant » June 20th, 2018, 6:48 am

Cool.
The majority of the 85-mile route is owned by Union Pacific Corp., and an agreement would be needed to share the corridor with its freight trains. But unlike the Northstar Commuter Rail between Minneapolis and Big Lake, which shares tracks and prioritizes freight traffic, the Eau Claire passenger line would operate on its own tracks.
Is that rail line actually unused? Or are they talking about building new tracks in the existing corridor?

DanPatchToget
Rice Park
Posts: 465
Joined: March 30th, 2016, 1:26 pm

Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby DanPatchToget » June 20th, 2018, 7:53 am

New tracks in the existing corridor. I wonder if they mean one track will be dedicated to passenger and the existing track will be freight only?

I'm skeptical of this making money on its own, especially with only two roundtrips per day.

Silophant
Moderator
Posts: 3485
Joined: June 20th, 2012, 4:33 pm
Location: The Gateway

Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby Silophant » June 20th, 2018, 8:18 am

Yeah, 80 miles of new tracks are a lot more capital intensive than just a trainset and three stations. I'm assuming it would be a single track for the passenger rail, and that's the rationale for just two round trips per day - one trainset running back and forth, never having to worry about passing.

DanPatchToget
Rice Park
Posts: 465
Joined: March 30th, 2016, 1:26 pm

Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby DanPatchToget » June 20th, 2018, 9:03 am

If they are planning to add a dedicated track for the entire route (minus going over the St. Croix River on the existing UP bridge) how many roundtrips could they do in a day with one trainset? Better to have it moving than be like Northstar wasting the entire day with four trainsets.

Silophant
Moderator
Posts: 3485
Joined: June 20th, 2012, 4:33 pm
Location: The Gateway

Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby Silophant » June 20th, 2018, 9:19 am

Well, assuming a 90 minute trip (allowing for some delay) and a 30 minute dwell time at each end (to make the math easy), they could do four round trips with the first departure at 6am and the last arrival at 9:30pm. Cut it closer with a 80 minute scheduled trip and a 20 minute dwell time and you can five round trips in with a 6am first departure and a 10:20pm last arrival.

If they have a dedicated track though, it would be presumably pretty easy to add additional trips if there's demand, vs the Northstar where adding additional trips requires negotiating with BNSF to get more traffic slots on their mainline.

Korh
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 105
Joined: March 8th, 2017, 10:21 pm

Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby Korh » June 21st, 2018, 3:22 pm

I wonder if its just a Strib reporting error about the group wanting to get a station in Stillwater, or if they still plan on adding one I'm scratching my head a little to how their gonna try to pull that off since iirc there isn't any tracks that go through Stillwater

User avatar
Tiller
Foshay Tower
Posts: 812
Joined: January 17th, 2015, 11:58 am

Re: Twin Cities to Eau Claire regional rail

Postby Tiller » June 21st, 2018, 3:30 pm

There is a spur to Stillwater, though based on a map the group had been using at one point, it looked like they envision(ed) adding Stillwater without backing into and out-of a spur (meaning adding track through a new or previously abandoned ROW?)


Return to “Transportation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest