Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Red Wing sees commuting possibilities down the track

A planned new commuter train to Hastings, Minn., eventually could extend to Red Wing.

Propelled by a major new marketing push to build public awareness, Red Rock would operate between Hastings and St. Paul, with connections to Minneapolis.

Planners also envision an eventual extension to Red Wing via the Prairie Island Indian Community. It could be operating by 2018, supporters say.

"I think it would do two things," Red Wing Mayor John Howe said. "It would certainly help people who commute to the cities for work. It would also help our tourism because it would bring people down here for day trips. It'd be a huge plus for us."

The southeastern commuter trains could share a track with a proposed fast train to Chicago that would run several times a day. A final route for the fast train, which would travel up to 110 miles per hour,


will be decided this summer.

The Minnesota High Speed Rail Commission was formed in April of 2009, according to Howe, and has been meeting monthly in Red Wing.

Red Rock already is a major route for freight trains and Amtrak's Empire Builder passenger train, but adding commuter trains to the route has led to a scramble in government circles. The 2018 start is

"optimistic," said Andy Gitzlaff, who manages the project for Washington County, but he said the time has come to attach dates to critical mileposts.

On Monday, the Red Rock Corridor Commission asked the Legislature to approve bonding appropriations and general funding for the commuter rail line and high-speed rail route.

What To Read Next
Get Local