Republican Proposes Funding for New Chicago-Twin Cities Passenger Rail Line

GOP Rep. Barb Haley introduced legislation to fund a study for a potential rail corridor from the Twin Cities to Chicago

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota State Rep. Barb Haley (R – Red Wing) introduced legislation Tuesday to fund a study for an additional passenger rail corridor between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

Haley’s bill appropriates $1 million from the Bond Proceeds Fund to the commissioner of transportation to complete a study in coordination with Wisconsin and Illinois. The study would evaluate the merit of adding a second train to the Chicago-Twin Cities passenger rail corridor.

The Pioneer Press reports more than 100,000 passengers per year board Amtrak’s Empire Builder passenger rail service between Chicago and St. Paul. The second line could serve an additional 155,000 yearly passengers.

In February, the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners voted to finalize a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to fund $600,000 for an environmental assessment study for the line.

Haley’s bill, which has no companion yet in the Senate, was referred to the Transportation Finance committee in the Minnesota House of Representatives.  

Haley did not respond to Alpha News’ request for comment.

Julia Erynn