Stand Up for More Trains in Minnesota

  • March 1: a great opportunity for all members to stand up for more trains for Minnesota.   One of AAMN’s top goals as an organization is to build grass-roots support for a more balanced transportation policy that includes sensible investment in modern trains.  One of the best (and easiest) ways to do this is through the submission of resolutions at local precinct caucuses which will be held around the state on Tuesday evening, March 1.

 

Most political parties registered in Minnesota hold precinct caucuses to allow citizens  to influence party policy.  Caucuses are run by volunteers.  Anyone can attend.  There is no fee or charge.  You’re are encouraged to voice your opinions.  It’s democracy at its grass-roots best!

 

Locations of all MN precinct caucuses are now posted on the Secretary of State’s website:  www.caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us.  (Or, contact your city’s administrative office).  For most, your caucus location will be very close to wherever you live.

 

 

  • Sample caucus resolution: The Board is offering the following resolution for all members to bring to their local caucus, which is in support of a second daily train from the Twin Cities to Chicago.  Please  print this resolution out and take to your precinct caucuses:

 

 

  Resolution for Caucus night on March 1: 

“Whereas modern, fast, comfortable intercity passenger trains are largely missing in the state of Minnesota, and

 

Whereas the only one Amtrak daily train that serves west central Minnesota eastbound in the very early morning hours, and westbound at very late evening hours,

 

Whereas new train service on existing 79-mph routes costs a small fraction of the cost of building new roads and freeway lanes, examples being that to upgrade existing railroad right of way approximately $1 million per mile and new or highway expansion costs up to $10 million per mile, and

 

Whereas many other U.S. states have introduced new train services which have proven to be cost-effective and popular with the traveling public, and

 

Whereas more convenient train service will offer an economical and comfortable way for hundreds of thousands of people each year to get back and forth to Milwaukee and Chicago as alternative to driving on congested freeways, or flying, and

 

Whereas additional train service has proven to create economic growth, tourism, and community vibrancy all along its routes, as studies on the federal and state level have proven that every one (1) dollar invested in intercity passenger rail yields up to four (4) dollars in economic benefit to those communities served, and

 

Whereas MnDOT is currently studying the feasibility of adding a new daylight 79-mph passenger train between the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, and Chicago – on a reliable schedule– thus opening up new and important travel options for citizens, now therefore

 

Be it resolved that we support the implementation of this new train service at the earliest opportunity, and direct our legislators to find a suitable, stable form of funding

to support it.

 

Ramsey County to Pay $300,000 for St. Paul to Chicago Rail Study

Ramsey County to Pay $300,000 for St. Paul to Chicago Rail Study

Ramsey County officials have voted to provide up to $300,000 for the study of a second daily round-trip train between St. Paul and Chicago.

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners voted 7-0 Tuesday to finalize a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and move forward with the first phase of a $600,000 environmental assessment. Wisconsin would fund the other half.

An Amtrak feasibility study released last year predicted ridership on a second train could exceed 150,000 passengers a year, but Minnesota and Wisconsin would have to subsidize about $6.6 million annually. About 100,000 people ride a train between Chicago and St. Paul each year.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press  reports the first phase of the environmental study would be done by end of December 2017 and have finer estimates for construction, capital and operating costs.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Northern Lights Express Public Meetings Scheduled

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Northern Lights Express high-speed passenger rail

Save the date – NLX public meetings scheduled

Wondering what’s been happening on the proposed Northern Lights Express high-speed passenger rail project? Attend any or all of the four upcoming public open houses to find out. Meetings have been scheduled in or near the cities where NLX passenger stations are proposed.

Twin Cities (Minneapolis/Coon Rapids stations)
Wednesday, Feb. 24
Fridley Community Center, 6-8 p.m.
6085 7th Street NE, Fridley

Twin Ports (Duluth/Superior stations)
Thursday, Feb. 25
Duluth Depot, 6-8 p.m.
506 Michigan Street West, Duluth

Cambridge
Monday, Feb. 29
Cambridge Community Center, 6-8 p.m.
140 Buchanan Street North, Cambridge

Hinckley
Thursday, March 3
Hinckley-Finlayson High School, 6-8 p.m.
201 Main Street East, Hinckley

Attend one of the public meetings to:

  • Hear more about estimated project costs, benefits, ridership and service plan
  • Review the station location design concepts
  • Learn about the Tier 2 Project Level environmental review phase and next steps
  • Talk to project staff, ask questions and provide feedback

We hope to see you there.

Questions?

For more information about the NLX project, visit the NLX website or contact:

Frank Loetterle
NLX MnDOT Project Manager
francis.loetterle@state.mn.us
651-366-3194

To request an ASL interpreter call 651-366-4720. To request other reasonable accommodations, call 651-366-4718; the Minnesota Relay Service toll-free at 1-800-627-3529 (TTY, Voice or ASCII) or 711, or email your request to ADArequest.dot@state.mn.us.