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Associated Press, Published November 16 2011

River route is preferred for commuter train

ST. PAUL — 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.

Federal officials and the Minnesota Department of Transportation say other route possibilities are no longer an option. MnDOT rail director Dan Krom tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press the state can now focus its efforts on the river route. It follows an existing Amtrak line through Hastings and Winona and would connect St. Paul's Union Depot with Milwaukee and downtown Chicago.

The decision has disappointed local officials in Eau Claire, Wis., Rochester and other communities that hoped to be located along the train's route. MnDOT will begin work on an environmental impact statement.

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Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.