MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

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DanPatchToget
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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby DanPatchToget » October 1st, 2019, 2:40 pm

According to a colleague the grade changes on Highway 52 would make it difficult if not impossible to have rail going along it; is this true? Is there a way to find out what the grade is on Highway 52?

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Tiller
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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby Tiller » October 1st, 2019, 7:10 pm

The highway 52 route was picked for political reasons more than geometric reasons. The official Zip Rail study was paused during the alternatives analysis phase - technically a route hasn't been selected.

DanPatchToget
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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby DanPatchToget » October 1st, 2019, 7:54 pm

Would they really pick a route that they didn't even know if the geography was suitable for trains?

The only other options are going through farm fields, which is politically extremely difficult, or the long way via Owatonna.

mattaudio
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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby mattaudio » October 2nd, 2019, 9:38 am

52 would work... if they also did major earthworks for the full right-of-way, and/or if they are comfortable with lengthy viaducts.
For example, the Vermillion Valley would make sense for a higher viaduct for the freeway AND rail over the river and County 62: https://goo.gl/maps/1pxrxchDmtPGNU539
The Little Cannnon Curve would need some radius and elevation needs: https://goo.gl/maps/JYFQSPnakFYnNjEE7
The Skunk Hollow Steeplechase would probably be the biggest challenge: https://goo.gl/maps/k1GD7dm3bQEN7Zzx5
The Wastedo Wave is NBD with some earthworks: https://goo.gl/maps/f3P1G1NTqm2mW3BZ8
The Zumbrota Rolla: https://goo.gl/maps/jF2QHCw98WuiFtwX6

squrtis
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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby squrtis » October 2nd, 2019, 10:02 am

Those are some awesome names.

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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby SurlyLHT » October 2nd, 2019, 12:41 pm

I hope something is worked out whether it's on existing rail or along 52. It seems to make too much sense to connect Rochester and MSP. How great is 52 during a snowstorm?

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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby bubzki2 » October 2nd, 2019, 2:20 pm

I'm pretty sure I've inadvertently driven across entire farms in the winter thinking I was still on 52. It's a winter deathtrap.

DanPatchToget
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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby DanPatchToget » October 3rd, 2019, 9:15 am

Best real world example that I can think of for what rail on Highway 52 would look like is the New Mexico Rail Runner where it operates in the middle of I-25 for a certain length. Just from a glance at images and Streetview there’s definitely some grade changes, but I don’t know how similar they are to the grade changes on Highway 52.

SurlyLHT
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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby SurlyLHT » October 3rd, 2019, 10:03 am

Did Mayo ever put support behind this? Seems like they're a large enough employer that they could pull some levers to remove some barriers and get something moving.

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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby QuietBlue » October 3rd, 2019, 1:47 pm

The main obstacle so far has been political opposition, and there's not much the Mayo can do about that. The people who are opposed to it don't give a rip about what the Mayo wants.

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Nick
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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby Nick » October 4th, 2019, 9:13 am

From reading three or four Post-Bulletin articles about it, the opposition to this seemed like a classic case of local media turning a handful of seemingly unwell people into a big narrative.

mattaudio
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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby mattaudio » October 4th, 2019, 10:39 am

Right? It seems so odd that these farmers are upset about losing access to 52 when... they're already losing access to 52. The long-term vision is a full acess-controlled freeway on the corridor, and they're probably about halfway there between adding interchanges (no more stoplights south of Eagan!) and doing other access management. But it's way easier to blame some vaporware railroad than it is to blame highway improvements.

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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby kdo5581 » October 7th, 2019, 10:54 am

I remember a lot of concern about ice falling from elevated tracks in the winter.

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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby MSPtoMKE » October 7th, 2019, 4:59 pm

We'll need to bad bridges of all sorts, then!
My flickr photos.

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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby mulad » October 8th, 2019, 7:27 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if there'd been some Koch brothers influence with this, especially considering there's a Koch (Flint Hills) refinery right on Hwy 52. I was briefly on a Community Advisory Committee for Zip Rail, but it got heavily loaded with people from the Cannon Falls area rather than people from Rochester and the Twin Cities. Not a good setup, in my opinion, though the whole study process was already excluding the idea of having any intermediate stops (at least south of Rosemount). They might have had more buy-in from booster types if they'd suggested having a stop halfway down the line, or service branching to Northfield or something.

It never got far enough to debate the finer points. Of course, we're probably far enough out now from the beginning of the study that if we want anything to happen, it will have to start all over again anyway.

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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby tmart » October 9th, 2019, 2:10 pm

mulad wrote: I wouldn't be surprised if there'd been some Koch brothers influence with this, especially considering there's a Koch (Flint Hills) refinery right on Hwy 52. I was briefly on a Community Advisory Committee for Zip Rail, but it got heavily loaded with people from the Cannon Falls area rather than people from Rochester and the Twin Cities. Not a good setup, in my opinion, though the whole study process was already excluding the idea of having any intermediate stops (at least south of Rosemount). They might have had more buy-in from booster types if they'd suggested having a stop halfway down the line, or service branching to Northfield or something.
It's really setting oneself up for failure to solicit feedback primarily from people who will bear the negative impacts of construction while also flatly refusing to consider including them in the benefits in any way.

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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby mplser » October 9th, 2019, 6:19 pm

SurlyLHT wrote:
October 2nd, 2019, 12:41 pm
I hope something is worked out whether it's on existing rail or along 52. It seems to make too much sense to connect Rochester and MSP. How great is 52 during a snowstorm?
I totaled a 6 month old car on 52 in a snowstorm. It was also full of all of my boyfriend's worldly belongings because i was helping him move. fun stuff.

SurlyLHT
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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby SurlyLHT » October 10th, 2019, 8:45 am

If Northern Lights Express is a success could it help build support for this? We'll have something to point to.

bubzki2
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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby bubzki2 » October 10th, 2019, 11:02 am

I honestly think connecting Northstar to St. Cloud as a commuter line would be a better example to show, but looks like NLE is closer to actually happening.

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Re: MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Postby Oreos&Milk » October 13th, 2019, 11:25 am

bubzki2 wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 11:02 am
I honestly think connecting Northstar to St. Cloud as a commuter line would be a better example to show, but looks like NLE is closer to actually happening.
Not sure how you get to that conclusion. Northstar has so much limits they can't expand to hourly service, they even suggested cutting frequency to get to St. Cloud. :oops: It's like when a piece of lumber gets so warped out of shape you can't do anything but sit and stare it and go HUH... over and over again and just can't find a way to salvage it.

I would love to see hourly service and half hour service during rush-hour, and stations that are actually surrounded by something worth seeing. Like that proposed Mall of Entertainment (except that was not going to be built by the actual station!) There is just so much to be fixed about this line that I'm not sure how anyone could look at it and think..


Wow, that's a good piece of lumber!.. nice and solid, and straight, and lumbery.


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