Skip to main content

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


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.

Next Up

Cam Talbot / Minnesota Wild

Talbot leads Wild to 7th straight victory

The Wild opened a four-game road trip with a win in Edmonton.

Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers out 6-8 weeks with injury

The Hopkins native was hurt during Sunday's matchup with Notre Dame.

Anthony Barr

Vikings' defense could get reinforcements against Steelers

Several starters could return for a critical Thursday night matchup.

Mercer ATV accident fundraiser

High schooler in coma, fighting for his life after ATV crash

Family members found the teen on the ground and unresponsive.

Nolan Sprengeler - muskie record - nov 2021

Angler officially breaks 64-year-old state muskie record

The muskellunge he caught on Nov. 22 weighed a whopping 55 pounds, 14 ounces.

coronavirus, ICU, covid-19 hospital, doctor

4th teen COVID-19 death reported in MN is the 2nd in as many weeks

All four teenage COVID-19 deaths in the state have been reported in the past two months.

Anil Menon

Minnesota native named to NASA's new astronaut class

When he's done training, he could be sent to the space station or the moon.

broadway pizza interior facebook

Gallery: Original Broadway Pizza auctioning off everything

Get your hands on some classic Broadway signage, train-themed decor and more.

art shanty projects

Art Shanty Projects to return to Lake Harriet this winter

The festival has made some creative changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

After 'extraordinary' revenue growth, MN projects $7.7B surplus

But finance officials note there is still "significant risk" due to economic uncertainty.


Study: Rochester to Twin Cities high speed rail offers $1 billion in annual economy boost

Supporters of a high speed rail line between Rochester and the Twin Cities say it could result in a $1 billion yearly economic benefit. The prediction comes from Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc., a business promotion group. The study puts the number of estimated riders at one million per year.