Minnesota Unveils $9bn Rail Plan

3 January 2010 (Last Updated January 3rd, 2010 18:30)

The Minnesota Department of Transportation in the US has revealed a $9bn statewide freight and passenger rail plan to keep the state competitive by increasing travel options and improving access to goods and services. Minnesota transportation commissioner Thomas Sorel said the investme

The Minnesota Department of Transportation in the US has revealed a $9bn statewide freight and passenger rail plan to keep the state competitive by increasing travel options and improving access to goods and services.

Minnesota transportation commissioner Thomas Sorel said the investments will focus first on the intercity passenger rail service between Chicago and the Twin Cities.

"While the corridors for the project have yet to be determined, the connection would support the development and economic competitiveness of the Midwest and provide an alternative to automobile and air travel," Sorel said.

The plan also includes a 110mph high-speed rail service for Duluth and Rochester to the Twin Cities, and additional passenger rail services to St Cloud, Moorhead, Mankato and Eau Claire.

Other corridors identified for future development beyond 2030 or as part of national system expansion include Albert Lea, Willmar and Winnipeg.

At present, the state rail includes the Hiawatha light rail line, the Northstar Commuter line and interstate rail travel.