From an article in The Chippewa Herald:

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Federal Railroad Administration says a route running along the Mississippi River is the most feasible and reasonable for a proposed high-speed commuter train between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

That puts an end to another option that would have sent the route along the I-94 corridor through Eau Claire.

However, not only is the preferred route in the earliest planning stages, but fixing the existing track for the entire high-speed line could cost as much $3 billion — and such funding isn’t visible on the horizon.

But advocates hailed Tuesday’s announcement as an important step in getting more money for faster passenger rail service.

“We’re pleased that we’re able to find a path to move forward and continue to develop the project … if nothing else,” said Dan Krom, director of the passenger rail office for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

“If we can get to Chicago in 5-1/2 hours, we can compete with autos,” Krom told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.