Twin Cities-Chicago high-speed rail plans get a funding boost

A group of private and public funders in Minnesota and Wisconsin have committed $660,000 to further high-speed rail service between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

The funders include the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority, the La Crosse, Wis., Area Planning Committee, and the Minnesota High Speed Rail Commission.

The commission wants to develop Minnesota's first high-speed rail corridor to connect the Twin Cities with Milwaukee and Chicago. Together the group will pay for an environmental analysis to be completed by next year.

A feasibility study completed in 2015 estimated more than 150,000 passengers a year would use a daily train leaving Chicago in the morning and returning from St. Paul in the afternoon. Preliminary estimates say the project could cost more than of $141 million.

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