High Speed Rail MSP to Rochester

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mulad
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High Speed Rail MSP to Rochester

Postby mulad » June 4th, 2012, 11:31 pm

Not a whole lot to report on the Rochester rail link, but they and the FRA have written up a statement of work and plan to put out bids for someone to handle their Alternatives Analysis and Tier 1 EIS.
Last edited by mattaudio on July 31st, 2015, 9:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

mattaudio
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mattaudio » June 27th, 2012, 12:11 pm

After driving MN-56 a few times recently, the old CGW ROW between Rosemount and Dodge Center seems like it would have been ideal for HSR for much of the MSP-Rochester segment. Too bad it was abandoned.

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby Lancestar2 » June 30th, 2012, 11:47 am

I think it would be great if they were to rename it "Southern Lights Express" as that would fit nicely with the proposed "Northern Lights Express planned from the cities to Duluth. Although I doubt that would ever happen. Hope we hear something by years end :) I thought I heard their was a new transportation package that was just passed by congress, wonder if that will help us get a few of these projects ON TRACK!! :lol: pun intended ;)

mattaudio
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mattaudio » July 2nd, 2012, 11:07 am

I'd rather see consistent branding of types of service used across multiple lines. Northstar could be commuter rail (think Sounder, Metra, etc) and Northern Lights Express could be the name for regional intercity service with spokes from MSP.

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby nordeast homer » July 2nd, 2012, 12:40 pm

This one actually makes sense to me because of the amount of traffic that goes to Mayo and IBM from here. I still can't make sense of the rail to Duluth, I just don't see the demand.

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mattaudio » July 2nd, 2012, 1:22 pm

That, and MSP-Rochester would extend easily to Lacrosse, Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago...

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby Lancestar2 » July 2nd, 2012, 5:38 pm

nordeast homer wrote:This one actually makes sense to me because of the amount of traffic that goes to Mayo and IBM from here. I still can't make sense of the rail to Duluth, I just don't see the demand.
Just the other day I saw on the news how Duluth's tourism was about 50% from people in the twin cities area. I personally would LOVE to have a train up north to spend a weekend on the great lakes :) Sure would be nice to have our largest cities in the state linked together through transit.

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mulad » September 10th, 2012, 4:47 pm

The two prongs of rail activity in the Rochester area seem to be moving forward, according to today's Passenger Rail Forum meeting. The capacity study for the existing freight line is expected to finish up around March or April 2013. Sounds like they've got a consulting company set up to begin work on the long, long process of planning the passenger rail service, and are planning to do a kickoff meeting next month (October).

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mulad » December 20th, 2012, 10:29 pm

E-mail newsletter from today:
Zip Rail wrote:December 2012

Dear Mike,

Before 2012 draws to a close, we want to share one more update about Zip Rail.

Zip Rail Feasibility Study Kicks-Off
On November 13, a kick-off meeting was held for the Rochester-Twin Cities Passenger Rail Corridor Investment Plan, also known as the Zip Rail feasibility study. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the consultant team conducting the study, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and provide a project overview, including project goals, scope, process and schedule, as well as public involvement opportunities.

There will be multiple ways for interested members of the public to stay in touch with the study. In addition to updates like these and in the media, there will be a study-specfic newsletter, website and social media. We will keep you informed about these different resources as they become available.

Public meetings also will be held throughout the course of the study to seek input, provide updates, and correspond with key milestones in the planning/engineering and environmental process. Each series of meetings will be held in multiple locations around the area. The first round of public meetings will occur early in 2013. We will notify you well in advance of the meetings so that you have time to make arrangements to attend.

Spread the Word
We saw a lot of new support for Zip Rail in 2012. You can play a valuable part by getting your organization to adopt a letter of support or by sharing our information. Start by forwarding this message on to your friends, family and neighbors. You can also engage with us via Facebook and Twitter.

All of our best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.

Sincerely,

Zip Rail

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mulad » May 21st, 2013, 10:52 am

From http://goziprail.org/stay_informed/ -- Some meetings have been scheduled for the Zip Rail corridor. Looks like they'll have a first pass at routing options available.
All meetings will occur from 5-7 p.m. with a formal presentation at 5:30 p.m. at the following locations:
  • Rochester - Monday, June 3, at Rochester Community & Technical College Heintz Commons Area, 851 30th Ave. SE, Rochester
  • Minneapolis - Tuesday, June 4, at Ramada Bloomington Hotel Minneapolis Airport/Mall - Miami Room, 2300 American Blvd. E., Minneapolis
  • Cannon Falls - Thursday, June 6, at Urland Lutheran Church, 6940 County 9 Blvd., Cannon Falls

mattaudio
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mattaudio » May 21st, 2013, 12:20 pm

I hope this can jump in front of NLX... seems like it has so much more merit, even if the greenfield corridor would be a challenge.

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby RailBaronYarr » May 21st, 2013, 12:28 pm

I also hope this takes priority.. especially since completing it is one link in a possible MSP-Rochester-Madison-Milwaukee-Chicago HSR. Adding this link, which may have enough merit on its own, removes some of the cost/risk hurdles in the whole system.

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby Andrew_F » May 21st, 2013, 12:34 pm

It seems that NLX has a broader statewide appeal, but I agree that MSP-ROC seems like it should preform better. The proportion of travel between MSP and Duluth includes a lot of tourism, whereas MSP to Rochester is mostly business and Mayo traffic, and is growing quickly. Rochester also draws a lot more business/medical traffic from out of state than Duluth does, meaning that a connection to the airport is very worthwhile. And yes, there is also the benefit that it is step 1 of a longer HSR corridor.

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mattaudio » May 21st, 2013, 1:01 pm

NLX relies on ridership estimates that David Levinson has ripped apart. MSP-Roch would not depend on sketchy ridership figures for a midpoint casino. The travel demand is already here, and the value would be even higher once it connects onwards to Chicago.

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby RailBaronYarr » May 21st, 2013, 1:38 pm

mattaudio wrote:NLX relies on ridership estimates that David Levinson has ripped apart. MSP-Roch would not depend on sketchy ridership figures for a midpoint casino. The travel demand is already here, and the value would be even higher once it connects onwards to Chicago.
Exactly. And I can actually see a Rochester station (if done right, please god let it be done right) allowing for many people to get off the train and walk or use local transit to get to any of their end destinations. The problem I have with NLX to Duluth (beyond ridership numbers Levinson thoroughly debunked) is that it would serve mostly tourists with the hope that a business connection could be made. Duluth is not a walker's paradise nor served well by transit, and to do many of the things tourists like they would need (or at least want) a car.

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mattaudio » May 21st, 2013, 1:47 pm

Hopefully the crazy late-90s idea of terminating the train at RST Airport rather than Downtown Rochester will finally be dead for that reason.

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby MNdible » May 21st, 2013, 2:19 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:Duluth is not a walker's paradise nor served well by transit, and to do many of the things tourists like they would need (or at least want) a car.
From a business perspective, the important buildings of downtown Duluth are arrayed along a very walkable 10 block section of Superior Street, which will be directly adjacent to the NLX stop. And in my exeprience, it's easier to catch a cab in downtown Duluth than downtown Minneapolis. And, I'd argue that Duluth has the second best transit system in the state (not saying much, I know).

In terms of priorities, I'd say that the train to Rochester and Duluth rank miles below high speed service to Chicago.

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby RailBaronYarr » May 21st, 2013, 2:31 pm

MNdible wrote:In terms of priorities, I'd say that the train to Rochester and Duluth rank miles below high speed service to Chicago.
But when a high-speed Rochester-MSP line is a freight-independent, true high speed (150-220 mph) line in the direction of Chicago, while connecting the most important medical campus in our state (region?) to our biggest cities I'd say it's a win. At an estimated price of less than the SW LRT, I'd say even better!

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mattaudio » May 21st, 2013, 3:00 pm

Yep, Rochester is on the way to Chicago and Duluth is not. That makes it a winner right there.

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby UptownSport » May 21st, 2013, 6:17 pm

mattaudio wrote:Yep, Rochester is on the way to Chicago and Duluth is not. That makes it a winner right there.
Well ...

There's a lot of Twin Cities to Milwaukee data in the HSR to chicago thread-
x wrote:Some PDF references on:

Population / route Density
Population vs Routes

Travel Time
Travel Time

List of study links

Chicago-Minneapolis/St. Paul High-Speed Rail Corridor Midwest Regional Rail Initiative Phase 7 Work
I'm unable to link Mulad's chart, but shows Rochester 'ain't that' after looking at St. Cloud's numbers:

http://urbanmsp.com/viewtopic.php?p=12857#p12857


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