Get Involved Rail in MN


About the Commission

In 1996, the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative began assessing the prospect of improving passenger rail infrastructure. Its comprehensive report indicated the potential success of high-speed rail between the Twin Cities and Chicago. The Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission was formed in June 2009 based on this potential.

In fall 2018, the Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission began the process of changing its name to the Great River Rail Commission to better fit its mission and purpose. The Commission voted on the name change in January 2019; the formal name change process will be completed by an amendment to the Commission by-laws in the coming months.

The Great River Rail Commission is one of the leading voices on passenger rail in Minnesota. Comprised of officials from 17 local and regional governments from St. Paul to La Crosse, the Commission advocates for the development of the Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago (TCMC) Second Train project, a daily round trip passenger train between the Twin Cities and Chicago. The Commission's long range vision is that the Second Train demonstrates demand for additional passenger rail service that leads to further investment in faster, more frequent passenger train service.

Commission Goals

• To increase transportation alternatives by expanding passenger rail service between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

• To increase freight rail capacity along the corridor.

• The bolster economic development in the state of Minnesota, especially in the Minnesota portion of the corridor between the Twin Cities and La Crescent.

• To increase safety for rail and highway users.

Commission Role

The commission seeks to accomplish its goals through:

• Actively supporting project development as a financial partner.

• Coordinating with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and other entities responsible for project development to ensure accountability.

• Advocating for projects with local, state and federal governments.

• Implementing a Strategic Communications Plan to raise awareness with River Route stakeholders.


• 2019, Commission changes its name to the Great River Rail Commission to better fit its mission and purpose.

• December 2019 - MnDOT completes Phase 1 of TCMC Second Train study.

• July 2016 - MnDOT kicks off the Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago Intercity Passenger Rail Service Study (Phase 1), and La Crosse Area Planning Committee joins the MN High-Speed Rail Commission.

• July 2015 - Amtrak Feasibility Study of adding a second daily round trip is completed finding that additional service between Saint Paul and Chicago shows promise.

• November 2011 - Alternatives Selection Report completed leading to selection by the Federal Railroad Administration and MnDOT of the River Route as the preferred route for high-speed rail between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

• June 2009 - Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission formed.


Member Spotlights

View spotlights of Great River Rail Commission members.

Sandi Dingle

Wayne Getz

Cheryl Key

La Rae Mills

Jane Prince

Paul Schollmeier

Mark Vaughan

Annual Reports

Each year the Great River Rail Commission releases an annual report on activities around the project's development and other relevant passenger rail information.

2017 Annual Report (Newsletter)
2017 Annual Report (Newsletter)
2016 Annual Report (Newsletter)
2015 Annual Report (Newsletter)
2014 Annual Report (Newsletter)
2013 Annual Report (Newsletter)
2012 Annual Report (PDF - 1.5 mb)
2011 Annual Report (PDF - 1.9 mb)
2010 Annual Report (PDF - 1.4 mb)

Meeting Document Downloads

Stay current on all the exciting and informative meetings surrounding Great River Rail.

Upcoming Meetings

2019 Meeting Schedule

TCMC Update

July, 2018 TCMC Update

Commission Agendas and Minutes

Each file includes the agenda packet for the current meeting and minutes for the previous meeting.

May 2, 2019
March 7, 2019
January 3, 2019
November 1, 2018
September 6, 2018
July 12, 2018
May 3, 2018
March 1, 2018
January 4, 2018
November 2, 2017
September 7, 2017
July 6, 2017
May 4, 2017 March 2, 2017
January 5, 2017
November 4, 2016
September 1, 2016
July 7, 2016
May 5, 2016
March 3, 2016
January 7, 2016
November 5, 2015
September 3, 2015
July 2, 2015
May 7, 2015
March 5, 2015
January 8, 2015
November 6, 2014
September 4, 2014
July 10, 2014
March 6, 2014
January 2, 2014

Document Archive

View older meetings and agendas.