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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Agencies release Final Scoping Decision document for Rochester-Twin Cities high-speed rail

The Minnesota Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration and the Olmsted County Regional Railroad Authority, today released the Final Scoping Decision document on the "Zip Rail," a plan for high-speed passenger rail service between the Twin Cities and Rochester.
The agencies prepared the Final Scoping Decision document to meet state environmental requirements and to guide the development of the Tier 1 Rochester to Twin Cities Passenger Rail Corridor Investment Plan. The plan will be prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
The scoping document describes the purpose of and need for a high-speed rail corridor and the proposed action; the development and evaluation of corridor alternatives; the potential social, economic and environmental impacts; and discussion of the methodology used to address each issue in the upcoming Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement. The document also responds to comments received during the public comment period between July 7, 2014 and Aug. 22, 2014. 
The Final Scoping Decision document is available on the project website,, and at local government offices and libraries throughout the corridor. A list of locations to view the document is included on the project website. To request a document in an alternative format call 651-366-4718 or email
The Zip Rail study area covers approximately a 100-mile corridor between Rochester and the Twin Cities, which includes Dakota, Dodge, Goodhue, Hennepin, Olmsted, Ramsey and Rice counties and various end points in the Twin Cities and Rochester. There is no continuous existing railroad connection between the Twin Cities and Rochester, so many of the potential corridors would create new transportation routes. 
For more information about the Zip Rail project, visit the project website at

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