MSP to Rochester High Speed Rail

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
EOst
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby EOst » January 23rd, 2015, 10:30 am

Everything depends on the particular Amish community; there is no uniform code. Some Amish men will even drive their own or others' cars (particularly in remote areas), though that's still rare.

The Amish don't hate technology on principle, they simply wish to avoid it having an outsize effect on their traditional lifestyle.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby FISHMANPET » January 23rd, 2015, 10:46 am

Rochester City Lines runs some commuter service from surrounding towns into Rochester, and there's enough demand for them to not only run the buses, but run a couple trips per day, so I think there'd be more than a handful of trips out of these small towns into Rochester.
http://www.rochestercitylines.com/commuter.php

Not sure what traffic there would be outside of commuting, but there's some demand there.

seanrichardryan
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby seanrichardryan » January 23rd, 2015, 11:36 am

The Amish can have all kinds of technology, just not at home. Many keep cell phones and computers at a neighbors house. Depends on the sect.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

mulad
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mulad » February 15th, 2015, 11:00 am

State House representative Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) is trying to add a ban on Zip Rail planning onto a bill for the Destination Medical Center project in Rochester. It's being cosponsored by Greg Davids (R-Preston) who chairs the House Taxes Committee.

http://www.postbulletin.com/news/politi ... 27970.html

acs
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby acs » February 15th, 2015, 12:14 pm

I thought the Destination Medical Center fix bill had already passed?

mattaudio
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mattaudio » February 15th, 2015, 3:06 pm

There was a pretty severe error in the DMC legislation that requires a "fix" in this session.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 12th, 2015, 9:38 am

There was some chatter in Mike's recent streets.mn post on passenger rail re: capital costs. I know no official capital estimation has been done yet for Zip Rail, but a commenter claimed estimates are somewhere between $2-4 bn. The 2003 study found an electric option around $900m in $2002 (~$1.2 bn in today's dollars). Are we talking similar cost levels today? Is there a big difference in the updates routes under consideration from a capital cost perspective, or would the biggest contributor be cost escalation since '03?

mulad
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mulad » March 12th, 2015, 11:05 am

There has been so little passenger rail construction in the U.S. in the last several decades that it's hard to know how much it costs. Most expansion has happened with LRT or commuter rail in metropolitan areas with higher land costs, denser road networks, more utilities in the way, not to mention closer spacing of stations.

I used to have page 6-24 from this 2009 report pinned to my cubicle wall at work. It shows a single-track 110-mph diesel option through downtown Rochester and on to La Crosse estimated at $973 million. I never found a good estimate for what it would cost just for getting to Rochester, but it might be buried in there somewhere.

They estimated the cost of upgrading the existing Mississippi River route at $834 million, so the incremental $139 million didn't seem bad. Of course, that study had been done in an effort to convince MnDOT to route the Twin Cities-Chicago HSR corridor through Rochester, so it's entirely possible that certain numbers had been tweaked in Rochester's favor.

I've seen at least one report say that its results were only "order-of-magnitude estimates", so it's frustrating when news agencies always fly off and hype the most expensive end of an already extremely fuzzy number. It's easy to see why costs can be all over the place: This document estimates $1.7 million per mile for new 110-mph single track and $3.0 million for double-track (section 2.2.4/2.2.5) -- Apparently that's only for flat ground, since the following section estimates $16 million per mile for double-track on a 15-foot embankment, more than 5x the cost. On the other hand, if you use existing track, the cost can be between zero and a few hundred thousand per mile if you only need signaling or the occasional improvement here or there.

It's hard to look at a map and know how many embankments (or cuttings, bridges, and tunnels) would be needed on any given route. That takes a surveying team and engineers who know what they're doing, plus sketching out a bunch of different possibilities. Any ideas should be fed into a computer at some point along with LIDAR scans of the terrain, important land features like waterways, along with info about property ownership/cost and protected areas. Let it churn away for a while to compare some of the engineers' own ideas, and maybe it could be smart enough to generate a few of its own.

Anyway, I don't have a great answer other than it should be cheapest to use existing freight corridors. Even if the passenger lines just run parallel to the existing lines, but rarely connect, there can be some savings.

I also feel like I have to reiterate that a lot of rail cost estimates are the whole ball of wax -- tracks, trains, maintenance facilities, stations, etc. The cost per mile I mentioned in my recent article was really focused on the track itself, which is probably the biggest piece of the pie, but may be less than half the total in some circumstances.

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mulad » March 17th, 2015, 6:05 am

Zip Rail is entering the Tier I EIS phase: http://finance-commerce.com/transit/201 ... il-begins/

They've posted a timeline to their website, which implies they'll be in the Tier I phase for about a year, then it would be another 4-5 years for the Preliminary Engineering and Tier 2 EIS phase before construction could really happen. http://goziprail.org/pdfs/ziprail_progr ... 031615.pdf

mattaudio
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mattaudio » March 17th, 2015, 7:54 am

When I think about these timelines, it makes me really hate how we plan and implement large projects. There are so many forces working against this. The entire area along the line where there will be no stops is basically a constituency that will either hate on the line or water it down. We have years and years for this to fail. I wish we could just fast track it. But at the same time, when money was on the table for CA HSR, they still managed to fail to execute that in a fast way.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 17th, 2015, 2:50 pm

Oh good. http://finance-commerce.com/transit/201 ... c-funding/

Also, I never thanked Mike for the very helpful reply a few days back. Much obliged!!

acs
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby acs » March 17th, 2015, 2:56 pm

Oh good so it's never happening? What kind of shitty compromise is this?

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby twincitizen » March 17th, 2015, 2:56 pm

I'm not sure what the point of that "agreement" is, other than for the Zip Rail consortium to "make nice" with a prominent/outspoken lawmaker in the area. There's not a chance in hell the Senate or Gov. Dayton would ever agree to any of the funding gags that Pat Garafolo wants, so this agreement is entirely pointless.

acs
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby acs » March 17th, 2015, 3:00 pm

Except isn't this bill attached to the DMC "fix" which is needed to pass this session? I highly doubt Dayton will veto the bill over this. Perfect political hostage.

David Greene
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby David Greene » March 17th, 2015, 3:02 pm

acs wrote:Except isn't this bill attached to the DMC "fix" which is needed to pass this session? I highly doubt Dayton will veto the bill over this. Perfect political hostage.
I can't see it surviving conference committee. Germanness rules sould really prevent it getting through the House though it probably will.

phop
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby phop » March 18th, 2015, 1:17 am

Why would anyone even waste time negotiating with him? This kind of blanket gag-order legislation is horrid governance. It shouldn't ever be taken seriously.

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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby mulad » March 18th, 2015, 11:13 am

Some of the people working for Olmsted County on planning this line have mentioned in the past that there has been private interest in funding/operating this line. It looks like they've decided to come out of the shadows a little bit following the "compromise" -- here's an article from the Post-Bulletin.

The organization is called North American High Speed Rail Group. However, politicians from the Rochester area are telling the PB that they hadn't heard about these negotiations. The people/companies in this group better give some more information about their background.

acs
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby acs » March 18th, 2015, 11:23 am

What a timely red herring.

cowboyjones
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby cowboyjones » March 18th, 2015, 11:45 am

acs wrote:Except isn't this bill attached to the DMC "fix" which is needed to pass this session? I highly doubt Dayton will veto the bill over this. Perfect political hostage.
Doesn't Dayton have line-item veto, or am I mistaken? If he does, are there restrictions on it to keep him from removing that particular section?

grant1simons2
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Re: Zip Rail to Rochester

Postby grant1simons2 » March 18th, 2015, 11:54 am

I don't know if I can handle anymore fake organizations or companies creating fake optimism...


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