Federal Railroad Administration releases Midwest Regional Rail Plan

The Twin Cities was tested as a potential hub for service to Fargo, Duluth and Sioux Falls. 

FARGO (KVRR) – The Federal Railroad Administration has released its plan to expand and modernize Midwest passenger railroad service over the next four decades.

North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota are among 12 states in the plan, which explores the potential for a passenger rail network throughout the region.

The Twin Cities was tested as a potential hub for service to markets such as Fargo, Duluth and Sioux Falls.  The summary says that while there’s strong ridership demand to Duluth, service to Fargo and Sioux Falls had much lower travel demand.

“Passenger rail in North Dakota is very much in its infancy” according to the study, which noted that North Dakota does not have authority to spend funds in other states, but has funded rail projects that are on or near the border.

The study found that one of the busiest routes would be between the Twin Cities and Chicago, with up to 24 trains per day.

The FRA says the Midwest Regional Rail Planning Study provides “a strategic 40-year framework out to 2055 for the Midwest passenger rail network, service, financing, and governance.”

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