Minnesota Department of Transportation

Project Name

Milwaukee-Twin Cities High-Speed Rail Corridor Program


Milwaukee, WI-Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

Project Description

Quandel Consultants provided planning and engineering services to Minnesota DOT and Wisconsin DOT for the Milwaukee-Twin Cities High-Speed Rail Corridor Program, a proposed 350-mile high-speed passenger rail line between Milwaukee, WI and Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. Under this contract, Quandel completed an Alternatives Analysis (AA) that identified a set of “reasonable and feasible” passenger rail routes to be analyzed in a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

In partnership with the Minnesota and Wisconsin DOTs and the Federal Railroad Administration, Quandel Consultants developed a methodology to reduce the overall universe of 25 alternative rail routes (existing, abandoned, or out-of-service) to a set of reasonable and feasible routes. Using this AA methodology in combination with the Rail Corridor Alternative Analysis Tool (RCAAT™), the alternative rail routes were evaluated against the following criteria: route distance, route population, untenable defects, route characteristics, travel time, market size, capital cost, operating costs, safety, reliability, system connectivity, and environmental features.

Quandel staff was responsible for planning and participating in public involvement meetings throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota and coordination of the agency scoping meetings.