BNSF Update Page - New Photos

February 28, 2015

Thanks to Kurt, we've added a couple new photos with descriptions about the BNSF construction on the Hi-Line, good descriptions of what's going on and now mostly completed.  Check it out!

MNDOT State Rail Plan- Our response

January 1, 2015

Every five years, the State of Minnesota is required to update and submit its rail plan, among others, and resubmit to the Feds.  That time is now, and The All Aboard Minnesota Board has taken a comprehensive look at the plan and has written a thorough response.  It is posted in the About Us section of the site - in What's New.  Its quite long, but we felt this is our chance to give thoughtful input to MNDOT based upon our view and expertise.

You will note its similar in scope to other statements we have published, like our views on service to Rochester, but this statement covers every aspect of MNDOT's passenger rail plan.  Overall we felt the plan is very comprehensive - but far to Minnesota centric.  We feel there should be greater connectivity to the national network as a whole.  So, If you have some time please read it and we welcome your comments and feedback.

Our response has been submitted to MNDOT, and also several key contacts that have influence with the plan.

Happy New Year - and Empire Builder to resume "normal" schedule

January 1, 2015

Happy New Year to all!  The Board of All Aboard Minnesota would like to especially thank all of the members that have joined us this year and we sincerely appreciate all of your comments and suggestions.  We could not do our work without you!

As we noted in our December newsletter, the Empire Builder will go pack to its previous schedule- prior to April 15, 2014 on Jan 12, 2015 - the following article was published in the Trains Mag newsletter:

CHICAGO — Amtrak’s Empire Builder is scheduled to end its detours through North Dakota and resume its normal route and schedule, effective with departures of Jan. 12.

Amtrak announced the move this week. It will bring an end to reroutes made to accommodate BNSF Railway construction.

“Amtrak and BNSF continue to work cooperatively on the operational and maintenance issues that affect Amtrak trains on this line,” the passenger railroad says in a press release. “BNSF is commited to work to improve the performance of the Empire Builder going forward.”

Three hours were added to eastbound schedules and 90 minutes to westbound trains. Bus connections were used to serve passengers in stops at Rugby, Devils Lake and Grand Forks, N.D., that were missed by trains traveling in one direction.

Originally, westbound train No. 7 took a detour over BNSF's KO subdivision while eastbound No. 8 followed the regular route, but the trains flipped routes in October to expedite traffic patterns during the grain-harvest season.

Wisconsin Association of RR Passengers Introduces All Aboard Minnesota

December 14, 2014

A special Thank you to the Wisconsin Association of Railroad Passengers for introducing All Aboard MN in their latest newsletter. You can read their newsletter here;

Wisarp Badger Rails Newsletter 2014-6 (Nov-Dec)

Amtrak and Federal transportation budget situation

December 14, 2014

Here is an update on how Amtrak is faring under the $1.1 Trillion Budget that is headed for President Obama' desk:


Overall funding for transportation programs would remain largely flat. The Transportation Department would get $17.8 billion in discretionary money, equal to last year's total, but $4.8 billion below the White House's request. Highway funding would stay at its annual authorized level of almost $41 billion, transit funding at $8.6 billion. The Federal Transit Administration's budget would grow almost 7 percent to $2.3 billion.

However, the popular TIGER (short for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant program would be cut from $600 million to $500 million, less than the Senate Appropriations Committee had wanted but far more than the $100 million than the House had approved in its version of the bill earlier in the year.

Federal subsidies for Amtrak operating expenses would also be sliced from $340 million to $250 million. The passenger railroad last month reported that it had not needed all of its 2014 appropriation to cover losses, as revenue hit a record and expenses were kept in check. But the agreement reverses a House bid to cut funding for Amtrak's capital budget and debt service by almost 20 percent. Instead, that account would grow some 9 percent to $1.14 billion.

As was true in 2014, the bill contains no money for high-speed rail projects, but the deal also rejects an attempt by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) to suspend the use of previously allocated federal funds for California's planned bullet train system.

MNDot to host open houses for Minneapolis-Duluth High Speed Rail Service

November 22, 2014

Open houses slated for proposed Minneapolis-Duluth high-speed rail service

The Minnesota Department of Transportation will host four open houses next month to solicit public input and answer questions on the proposed Northern Lights Express (NLX) high-speed rail line between Minneapolis and Duluth, Minn.

The meetings will held Dec. 4 in Superior, Wis.; Dec. 8 in Sandstone, Minn.; Dec. 9 in Cambridge, Minn.; and Dec. 10 in Hinckley, Minn., according to a MnDOT press release. NLX stations have been proposed for Cambridge, Hinckley and Superior, while Sandstone is being considered as a potential site for a light maintenance facility.

The project is being coordinated by MnDOT in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration, the Minneapolis-Duluth/Superior Passenger Rail Alliance and with cooperation from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. If built, the NLX would operate on 155 miles of an existing BNSF Railway Co. corridor.

All Aboard Minnesota is now a 501 (c) 3 Status Non-Profit!

November 22, 2014

We are very pleased to announce that the IRS has granted us 501 (c) 3 status as a non-profit organization.  This status backdates to our incorporation with the State of Minnesota on July 5, 2013.  All of your donations and membership dues are now tax deductible. Thank you for your membership and support!

Public Meetings for the Rochester-Twin Cities Passenger Rail Corridor Investment

July 23, 2014


As a reminder, there are three upcoming public meetings next week for the Zip Rail Project!

At the public meetings, participants can review the Scoping Booklet and Draft Scoping Decision Document (view the document prior to the meeting at, provide input, learn about project updates and ask questions of project staff.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.*
Rochester Community and Technical College, Heintz Center Commons Area
1926 College View Road East, Rochester

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.*
Inver Grove Community Center, Community Room 2
8055 Barbara Ave, Inver Grove Heights

Thursday, July 31, 2014
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.*
Kenyon-Wanamingo High School, Commons Area and Auditorium
400 6th Street, Kenyon

*At each public meeting, there will be a brief presentation starting at 5:30 p.m.

Please see the attached public meeting flyer or visit the project website,, for more details.

About the Zip Rail Project
The Rochester-Twin Cities Passenger Rail Corridor (Zip Rail) is an approximately 100-mile corridor between Rochester and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Area (Twin Cities) that includes the Counties of Dakota, Dodge, Goodhue, Hennepin, Olmsted, Ramsey and Rice. The project is led by the Minnesota Department of Transportation in partnership with the Olmsted County Regional Railroad Authority and the Federal Railroad Administration.

The purpose of the Zip Rail project is to provide a convenient, cost effective, reliable and safe passenger rail transportation alternative that will meet forecasted population and economic growth, mobility demands in the corridor, and connect intercity economic centers.



Fun For Everyone - National Train Day 2014 at SPUD

May 11, 2014

We sincerely hope all of you had as much fun as we did at National Train Day at St. Paul Union Depot May 10.  Hundreds of you came by to talk with us and we really enjoyed talking with you, hearing your stories, and the need for more passenger trains in Minnesota

Thank you for signing up, look to hear from us in June.  In addition to signing up, please consider joining our cause with a membership, you can join right on this site in the Support Section.  Just click on the Join and Contact Us button. Our work is only possible with your support!  Thank you!

National Train Day - May 10 - Save the Date!

April 3, 2014

National Train Day is Saturday May 10 - join us at St. Paul Union Depot for a day of fun for everyone!  You can visit Amtrak's website for more information on this great day!; See you there!