MN: All Aboard: Plan Calls for Passenger Rail Between St. Paul and Eau Claire

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Earlier this spring, a group of boosters gathered in Eau Claire, Wis. -- heralded by some as an emerging "mini-Portland" -- and agreed on just what was missing from the western Wisconsin city's renaissance: passenger rail.

They not only have a plan to restore long-dormant rail service to St. Paul's Union Depot, they insist it can be privately financed, too.

The bold idea may seem far-fetched given the travails of publicly bankrolled transit projects in the Twin Cities, such as the $2 billion Southwest light-rail line. But the West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition, an Eau Claire-based nonprofit group of representatives from business, education, government and others, has been working on the idea for nearly two decades.

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