From an article by Richard Mial in the La Crosse Tribune:
Minnesota could be a major factor in deciding whether a high-speed rail route between Chicago and the Twin Cities goes through La Crosse or Eau Claire, Gov. Jim Doyle said Tuesday.
Doyle told the Tribune Editorial Board he believes Minnesota is not nearly as organized on its rail plans as Wisconsin.
If Minnesota “is not a very strong participant,” most of the high-speed line likely would go through Wisconsin, improving Eau Claire’s chances of landing the route, Doyle said.
But from an economic point of view, Doyle added, “we’re better off having it to go La Crosse and up the Minnesota side, because then Minnesota is paying the operating costs of the whole trip from La Crosse up to the Twin Cities.”
The state and federal governments last week announced that Wisconsin will receive $823 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to help establish high-speed passenger rail service.
The money primarily will be used to upgrade service between Chicago to Milwaukee and extend it to Madison, using an existing Amtrak line.
Included in the $823 million is $1 million to study extending the line to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Doyle said.