We've been writing a lot about the proposal for the private high-speed rail line from the Twin Cities to Rochester, basing our posts on news reports as will as original reporting.
Our data practices request for the business plan submitted to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) was fulfilled by mail. Here's the pdf we received on Friday:
We'll unpack more in the coming days, but two things immediately jumped out at us.
The first was this statement on page 3 for Stage I: Proof of Concept Assessment: Rail and Real Estate:
Obtained acceptance and approval by Federal, State, County and Municipal governments.
The suspicions of citizens living in "fly over" area where no stops have been planned seem confirmed by this sort of assertion. We have not found "approval" of the project--or the Ziprail before it--by Goodhue County. Quite the contrary.
Moreover, while the spokester for the private bullet train and other supporters frequently note publicly that their project is much different from the Ziprail, the business plan asserts that earlier studies for the Ziprail are being used to support their project. We're not sure they can have it both ways.
One final thing: the assertion that the project is "unique" because it will bring Chinese rail technology to the United States for the first time is utterly laughable considering the partnership that XpressWest has forged with Chinese rail company, along with XpressWest's designation as franchisee by the Nevada High Speed Rail Authority (see details in the pdf embedded here).
Image: The snowpiercer, which we believe to be more real than this idea.
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