Intercity Rail - Empire Builder Line (fantasy transit)


This is Amtrak's existing Empire Builder line through the state, following a Canadian Pacific route southeast of St. Paul and using mostly BNSF tracks northwest to Fargo.  Existing plans to renovate downtown St. Paul's Union Station may result in the Midway station being dropped in favor of Union Station.  Long-range plans for this line also call for upgrading the line to handle 110 MPH passenger trains between St. Paul and Chicago.

The main changes to the Empire Builder in my fantasy system are an upgrade to handle 90 MPH trains (current speeds are limited to 79 MPH), new stations at Hastings, Elk River, and Little Falls, relocating the St. Paul Midway station to Union Station, adding a station at the future Minneapolis Multimodal station (at the future Twins ballpark), and moving the St. Cloud station to the proposed St. Cloud Northstar station.






Travel Time Estimation

From To Distance (miles) Travel Time Cumulative Distance (miles) Cumulative Time
La Crosse Winona 26.7 25 min 26.7 25 min
Winona Red Wing 62.5 51 min 89.2 1 hr 16 min
Red Wing Hastings 20.4 21 min 109.6 1 hr 37 min
Hastings St. Paul 19.6 25 min 129.2 2 hr 2 min

St. Paul Dwell Time

--- 15 min 129.2 2 hr 17 min
St. Paul Minneapolis 12.3 21 min 141.5 2 hr 38 min

Minneapolis Dwell Time

--- 10 min 141.5 2 hr 48 min
Minneapolis Elk River 28.6 33 min 170.1 3 hr 21 min
Elk River St. Cloud 35.7 31 min 205.8 3 hr 52 min
St. Cloud Little Falls 32.8 30 min 238.6 4 hr 22 min
Little Falls Staples 33.9 29 min 272.5 4 hr 51 min
Staples Detroit Lakes 62.3 50 min 334.8 5 hr 41 min
Detroit Lakes Fargo 48.7 41 min 383.5 6 hr 22 min

Travel times assume trains traveling at the speed limit with no stoppages or speed restrictions.  Travel times also include 5 minutes per leg to represent slowdown approaching a station, speed-up departing a station, and station dwell time.


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Page last modified 24 October, 2009