Twin Cities-to-Rochester high-speed rail project picks up steam

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You could someday be zipping between Rochester and the Twin Cities on a high-speed rail, thanks to two potentially major developments in the long-discussed project.

The first of those involves a thorough review of the environmental impact of the so-called Zip Rail, according to the Pioneer Press. On Tuesday, a handful of government agencies, including the Minnesota Department of Transportation, announced plans to launch the review.

On the same day, the Zip Rail overcame a major roadblock in the Minnesota Legislature. The Rochester Post Bulletin reports Rep. Pat Garofalo, who had introduced legislation blocking construction of the rail, has agreed to support the project now, as long as it's not built with state tax dollars.

According to the paper, the organization behind the project says it's attracted a potential group of investors.

The Zip Rail would cover a 100-mile route that would pass through seven counties between Rochester and the metro. It would be a boon for commuters as there's currently "no continuous rail connection" between the two points, the Star Tribune reports.

Wondering just how fast a "high-speed" rail is? The project's website says it could reach speeds up to 220 mph. In other words, you could get from the metro to Rochester in 45 to 50 minutes.

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