Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Governor’s Council on Freight Rail

Governor’s Council on Freight Rail

The council was established to elevate coordination and partnership between the state and railroads; to actively promote safety and reduce risks; and to ensure efficient movement of goods to support our economy while minimizing the impacts of those operations to our local communities.

The council shall consult with and solicit advice from private industry, governmental entities, labor unions, and nonprofits regarding concerns and opportunities with freight railroads and related activities.

Meeting dates

  • Oct. 24, 2023, 1-3 p.m. - In-person
    Minnesota Department of Revenue, Skjegstad Room
  • April 2, 2024, 1-3 p.m. - In-person
    MnDOT Central Office
    Transportation Building – TEC CENTER
    395 John Ireland Blvd.
    Saint Paul, MN 55155

Membership

  • Governor Walz (Chair of the Council)
  • Commissioner of the Department of Transportation Nancy Daubenberger (Vice-Chair of the Council)
  • Commissioner of Agriculture Thom Petersen
  • Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development Matt Varilek
  • Chair of the Metropolitan Council Charlie Zelle
  • Commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency Katrina Kessler
  • Commissioner of Public Safety John Cunningham
  • Derrick James, Amtrack Representative
  • Arun Rao, Amtrack, Amtrack Representative
  • Heidi Nelson, League of MN Cities, City Representative
  • Lydia Underdahl, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, Class I Railroad Representative
  • Larry Lloyd, Canadian Pacific Kansas City Railway, Class I Railroad Representative
  • Kevin Donahue, Canadian National Railway, Class I Railroad Representative
  • Kelli O’Brien, Union Pacific Railroad, Class I Railroad Representative
  • Peter Gilbertson, Anacostia Holdings/Northern Rail Line, Class II/III Railroad Representative
  • Dan Kippley, Ellis & Eastern Railroad, Class II/III Railroad Representative
  • Mark Wegner, Twin Cities and Western Railroad, Class II/III Railroad Representative
  • Levi Novacek, Association of MN Counties, Country Representative
  • Grant Johnson, Tribal Member, Minnesota Indian Affairs Council
  • Joel Mueller, Chairman of MN Legislative Board for Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen (BLET)
  • Nicholas Katich, MN Legislative Director, SMART-TD