Iowa Public Television


Rail Expansion vs Quality of Rural Life

posted on October 13, 2006

A $6 billion plan to upgrade and expand aging railroad track through southern rural Minnesota is facing opposition from one town's – and the state's -- largest private employer.

The Mayo Clinic managers in Rochester, along with local government leaders, say they worry about increased rail traffic, noise and the risk of a toxic release if there were a derailment so close to the hospital. Opponents want the rail line rerouted around the city of Rochester.

Supporters say upgrades to the existing rail would make accidents far less likely.

Both the opponents and supporters of the rail expansion are making their cases as the deadline approaches for the public to comment to the federal agency weighing a $2.3 billion loan that is said to be essential to the project.

Tags: infrastructure news rural trains transportation