North Dakota, Wisconsin Develop State Rail Plans

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
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The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) has published an updated and, for the first time, combined State Freight and Rail Plan (SFRP). Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (WisDOT) draft Wisconsin Rail 2050 is now available for review and comment.

NDDOT announced Jan. 27 that its combined SFRP, which “assesses the current conditions and performance of all freight transportation modes (highway, rail, pipeline, and air), identifies freight needs and issues, provides recommendations, guides the advancement of the multimodal freight transportation system, and serves as a roadmap for future investment,” has now been published.

Housed under Transportation Connection, the state’s long-range transportation plan has five goals, including:

  • Keeping you safe.
  • Caring for what you have.
  • Connecting North Dakota.
  • Heling you get there.
  • Investing for the future.

Development of the plan, which, according to NDDOT, “elaborates on each of these goals in relation to the movement of freight, via all modes, traveling into, out of, within, and through the state,” began in April 2021 and was a collaborative effort of state agencies, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), local governments, private industry, trade associations, trucking companies, railroads, Amtrak, community organizations, and Tribal Nations, as well as the public.

“North Dakota’s future is strongly dependent on the movement of goods and commodities to regional, national, and global markets to support jobs and our quality of life,” said NDDOT Director Ron Henke. “This plan provides the foundation to guide us in making informed decisions to improve freight movement today and for tomorrow.”

The final plan, its appendices and an executive summary are available on the project website.

WisDOT recently announced its draft Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050 is now available for review and comment, through Feb. 26.

Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050, which will focus on freight rail, rail crossing safety, and passenger rail, through the year 2050, will replace Wisconsin Rail Plan 2030.

The Rail Plan, WisDOT adds, will support the agency’s vision for Wisconsin’s transportation system, as identified in Connect 2050:

“WisDOT envisions an integrated multimodal transportation system that maximizes the safe and efficient movement of people and products throughout the state, enhancing economic productivity and the quality of Wisconsin’s communities while minimizing impacts to the natural environment.​​​​”


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