Minnesota Department of Transportation

Twin Cities & Western Railroad, Railway Age’s 2008 Short Line of the Year, is receiving a $328,424 grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation to extend the stub track over a recently acquired parcel and to create a full siding with connections to its main line, enabling greater access and track capacity to support a large transload operation. (TC&W Map)
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MnDOT Awards $9.6MM to 11 Rail Improvement Projects

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is distributing a total of $9.6 million in grants to 11 freight railroad improvement projects that it said will support economic development in different regions of the state.

Starting May 21, a second daily Amtrak train will be offered between St. Paul and Chicago, via Milwaukee, the state-sponsored Borealis, whose name “was determined in a collaborative process,” Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari told Railway Age. “It is a reference to the north direction, in Latin.” (Amtrak Map)

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, NYMTA, SMART, WMATA

A second daily Amtrak train is launching between St. Paul, Minn., and Chicago, via Milwaukee, Wis., the state-supported Borealis. Also, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and New York City Department of Social Services (DSS) unveil the Fair Fares pilot program; Northern California’s Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) logs record commuter rail ridership; and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) announce a transit planning initiative for the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Willmar, Minn., Rail Bypass Photograph Courtesy of BNSF.
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Watch: BNSF Completes Willmar Bypass

​​“And now I can retire,” Randy Anderson, a BNSF locomotive engineer based in Sioux City, Iowa, said recently. “For years I have said that as soon as the bypass is complete, I’m hanging up my boots. The new bypass allows train crews to keep on moving through this area. It’s a really good thing and will continue to benefit the railroad and community for years to come.”

Photo by John Auberg; Courtesy of Minnesota Commercial Railroad (MNNR)

MnDOT Seeks Grant Applicants for Rail Service Improvements

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) announced on Oct. 3 that $6.5 million in grants are available for railroads, rail shippers, cities and counties to improve freight service that supports economic development. The funding is available through the 2022 Minnesota Rail Service Improvement (MRSI) program, which was approved during the 2021 special legislative session.