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News Release

January 29 2009



Minnesota Department of Transportation
Office of Communications
395 John Ireland Blvd.
Mail Stop 150
St. Paul, MN 55155-1899

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Minnesota receives federal stimulus funds to study high-speed rail


ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota received $600,000 in federal funds Jan. 28 to study the potential for a high-speed rail service between the Twin Cities and Madison, Wis., one leg of a line being proposed that would connect Minneapolis/St. Paul with Chicago.


In addition to the federal funds, Minnesota and Wisconsin each will contribute $300,000 to cover the cost of the $1.2 million study.


“The things we learn from this study will help advance Minnesota’s entire rail program,” said Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel. “A high-speed rail connection supports development and economic competitiveness in the region and is consistent with our recently released 20-year state passenger rail and freight plan.”


The funds are part of $8 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars dedicated to high-speed rail projects nationwide. Midwestern states as a whole are expected to receive $2.6 billion, which includes $810 million for new and refurbished stations between Madison and Milwaukee, as well as the implementation of train control technology along 80 miles of track.


“The work of the Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation Forum was integral to the application process and to our success with this grant,” Sorel said. “That group worked very hard to give us the background and credibility we needed to succeed. Without that assistance, we may not have been so fortunate.”


For more information about rail in Minnesota, visit Mn/DOT’s Web site at www.dot.state.mn.us/aboutrail/.