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SUMMARY OF ZIP RAIL DATA FROM ADMINISTRATOR REPORTS

December 19, 2014
RAIL ISSUES
Last Monday, Chuck Michael was in New York to meet with a delegation of Chinese
investment
bankers that are involved with Cardio Three and other Mayo projects in Rochester. They
continue to
be very interested in the Zip Rail project. Please see the attached memo from Chuck for
a status
update.
Yesterday, Thursday, December 18, Chuck was at MnDOT (Minnesota Department of
Transportation) to narrow down the route for the Zip Rail. I have attached a brief
summary of his
meeting with our consultants, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and MnDOT staff.
In early January we should have a better idea of the required/necessary legislation
necessary for
MnDOT’s continued involvement with the Rail project. Current legislation provides the
Commissioner
of Transportation with the authority to approve public-private partnerships (P3) highway
projects.
This legislation needs to be extended to rail projects.
From: Chuck Michael <chuck.michael@gmail.com>
Date: December 19, 2014 at 10:22:31 AM CST
To: ' Richard Devlin' <devlin.richard@co.olmsted.mn.us>, <brown.ken@co.olmsted.mn.us>
Subject: Zip Rail Update
Ken and Richard,
There has been speculation lately regarding Zip Rail in the media as well as off-line, little of
which is accurate. This
update provides a status on several topics of interest to local and state officials as well as the
general public and
special interest groups. Please consider this an internal document for the time being.
In the next few weeks MnDOT will publish the Final Scoping Decision Document. This 450+
page document will
provide the following:
Detailed scope of work for the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Response to all substantive comments received at public meetings and during the
comment period by
individuals, organizations, and local, state and federal agencies
Detailed summary of all outreach activities
Complete listing of all comments received
A highly refined Highway 52 corridor that:
o Maximizes the use of existing right-of-way and median while able to achieve 186+ mph
speeds
o Does not cut off existing roadways or access
o Does not split farmlands
o Does not impact emergency vehicle access or travel
Removal of the proposed corridor west of Highway 52 that was completely new right-ofway
The Highway 56 corridor through Dodge and Goodhue County is relatively unchanged, and
continues as a
required alternative

A maintenance facility located perhaps midway between Rochester and the Twin Cities
(perhaps in Cannon
Falls, allowing for future service access)
Significant activity related to a public-private partnership has also occurred recently. Two
separate investment
groups have approached the project, interested in fully developing the project with the
following elements:
Provide direct domestic and foreign investment in the project to complete preconstruction planning and
preliminary design activities and to design, build, own, operate and maintain the project.
Provide substantial private real estate development at and around station locations.
Develop manufacturing facilities in Minnesota for high-speed trainsets to serve North,
Central, and South
American markets. There are currently no such facilities in the Western Hemisphere.
No local or state capital funding contribution
No operating subsidies
Right-of-way owned by State of Minnesota, with lease payments directed to Highway Fund
Some need for state planning funds until public-private partnership is fully defined
Possibility of federal loans (RRIF loan) but no expectation of federal grants
I will continue to update you as we proceed.
Thanks,
Chuck
Direct: 612.581.3003

January 9, 2015
RAIL ISSUES
I have attached legislation that House Rep. Drazkowski is proposing for the Zip Rail. This
is a problem. Mayo is concerned that the Zip Rail may influence the Minnesota
Legislature in the DMC legislation or create other problems for Zip Rail. We are meeting
with Mayo representatives on Monday to determine how we should address this issue.
Commissioners Wilson, Brown, and Kiscaden will be present for the meeting and will
have additional information for you after Monday. Also attached, please see email
correspondence from Chuck Michael summarizing significant rail activity from the past
couple of weeks.

From: Chuck Michael [mailto:chuck.michael@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, January 05, 2015 3:59 PM
To: Devlin Richard; 'Kenneth Brown'
Subject: Zip Rail Update
Importance: High

Richard and Ken,
A few quick (but significant) rail updates in this New Year:
MnDOT has approved an amendment to the Grant Agreement in the amount of
$170,000. The bond funds expired December 31 but on a hunch we requested a waiver
from MMB since it was an existing, executed agreement – and they agreed to use bond
funds (rather than appropriation funds) for the amendment. $140,000 will be for an
amendment to Parsons Brinckerhoff contract to refine the Highway 52 corridor for 186+
mph service, and
1.

$30,000 will be used to increase the County reimbursement for my costs. We are
preparing documents to bring this amendment to the OCRRA meeting on January
20.
We are preparing a contract amendment for Parsons Brinckerhoff for $140,000 for
the additional Highway 52 work. I am working with Deb Palmer on the documents, and
plan to bring this amendment to the OCRRA meeting also on January 20.
2.

On January 2, Dan Krom and I received a Business Plan from North American High
Speed Rail Corporation (Joe Sperber and Mark Ritchie’s group) indicating their proposal to
fully fund the remaining planning, design, and construction of Zip Rail. We will be meeting
with them (Joe Sperber and Wendy Meadley) and Dan Krom on January 13 from 1:00-3:00
at MnDOT in St. Paul. You are welcome to attend.
3.

On January 2, I also received a message from Medisun Holdings in Hong Kong
indicating their interest in also fully funding the project to completion. They are planning
to be in Rochester from January 17-23 are we are trying to arrange meetings. I’ll keep you
posted.
4.

Both private sector proposals include a high-speed rail connection to Chicago
(after completion of Zip Rail to Rochester) as well as high speed rail manufacturing
(one in Minnesota, one in Illinois).
5.

Be sure to read Gov. Dayton’s remarks on Zip Rail and DMC in today’s paper:
http://www.postbulletin.com/news/politics/dayton-talks-about-transportationzip-rail- dmc/article_36efe469-ff3b-52c6-bce0-c44230e12259.html
Thanks,
Chuck
Direct: 612.581.3003

January 16, 2015
RAIL ISSUES
The Minnesota Department of Transportation will be releasing the attached news release
early next week, probably the day after the County Board Rail Authority meeting. This is a
scoping document decision on the route for the Zip Rail. More information and details will
be available in the next few
weeks.

ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
TO:

STEPHANIE PODULKE
KEN BROWN
PAUL WILSON

FROM: Richard Devlin

MATT FLYNN
JIM BIER
SHEILA KISCADEN
LOUIS OHLY

Friday, February 13, 2015

RAIL ISSUES
North American High Speed Rail Group, the private organization investing in the Zip Rail,
will be in town on Friday, February 20, to meet with interested County Board members.
They will also be meeting with our area legislators that morning. We will have more
information to share with you as soon as arrangements are finalized. In the meantime,
Ken Brown is available if you have questions about this.
February 27, 2015
RAIL ISSUES
We have contracted with Pat Sexton, a lobbyist, to work on Zip Rail legislation and the
problem with
coupling Zip Rail and DMC legislation. We are compensating him $2,500 per month
through the
legislative session.
After the Board meeting on March 10, Wendy Meadley will be meeting with
Commissioners Flynn,
Ohly, and Podulke to brief them on the Zip Rail and the private organization that is
looking at
financing the project. Please see the attached memo.
A public meeting sponsored by MnDOT was held in Rochester on Thursday evening to
review the
State Rail Plan. Only three people showed up, one being a Commissioner representing
Cannon Falls.
MnDOT staff met with the Commissioner to learn more about his concerns; he is
concerned that a rail
station will be put in Cannon Falls. How ironic…
From: Chuck Michael [mailto:chuck.michael@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, February 20, 2015 12:01 PM
To: Devlin Richard
Cc: Caucutt Amy; Brown Ken
Subject: Rail Update

Richard,
Wendy Meadley and I met with the remaining area legislators this morning including Carla,
Kim,
and Nels. All are on board. Paul, Sheila and Jim were also there as was Pat Sexton. We are
looking
for a roll out of the private funding plan before March 20.
Joe Sperber meets with Charlie Zelle on Monday to craft the plan. Total private sector
investment is
$8-$10 billion including rail, stations, and significant other development in both the Twin
Cities,
Cannon Falls and Rochester. Governor Dayton will make the announcement when we are
ready.

Investors include a Who’s Who in Minnesota as well as Fortune 500 companies together
with
foreign investment.
Amy or Sheila can give you a complete update.
And from the Post-Bulletin today, continued concerns about public funding:
http://www.postbulletin.com/news/local/zip-rail-criticized-again-in-goodhuecounty/
article_31d17f8d-e410-5fbd-af19-bdbb0650b6c8.html
Chuck
612.581.3003
March 6, 2015

Zip Rail
We recently received an email from Joe Sperber, the CEO/President of the North American
High Speed Rail Group. In the email, Mr. Sperber states the desire to transition from a publicfunded Zip Rail to a privately-funded project. Please see the attached email. There are issues
that require resolution or clarification. Document and data transfers are one issue, as they
were prepared with state funding from state bonds.
We have three identified options for transfer:
1) Develop the legal documents necessary to transfer the ZIP Rail work product to a private
party.
a) Potential problems—possible violation of Federal bond proceed usage. Requires State
Bond Counsel to provide opinion that the transfer is acceptable/okay.
b) We have no template to follow for developing the transfer documents.
2) Suggest to the private party that they request all work products through a Data Practices
request.
a) We would be obligated to comply; this would be the fastest route.
b) We would retain ownership of the original work product.
c) May mitigate any private-use problems with the bonds.
d) Would willingly help them use the work products.
3) Transfer the work product to MnDOT for them to do with as they see fit.
a) MnDOT may be slower in getting the work product to the private party because of their
bureaucracy.
b) We would be absolved of any Federal law violations regarding the bond proceeds; would
put the issue squarely with MnDOT.
We are working with MnDOT to determine which option they prefer, but the final decision
remains with the County Board.

We also need to clarify what is meant by their request for the County’s “commitment to
ongoing
collaboration and support”, as well as how they plan to use Chuck Michael, the project
manager. We will need a closed session with the Board to receive your direction
on how to proceed.

From: Joe Sperber <jsperber@nahsr.com>
Date: March 3, 2015 at 6:16:58 PM CST
To: Devlin Richard <devlin.richard@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US>
Cc: Brown Ken <brown.ken@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US>, Chuck Michael
<chuck.michael@gmail.com>, Wilson Paul <wilson.paul@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US>
Subject: Re: Twin Cities to Rochester Passenger Rail Corridor Project Transition
Request
Mr Devlin
Feel free to call me on my cell anytime at 612-8296816. I Can answer any questions you might
have.
Joe Sperber
Sent from my iPhone
On Mar 3, 2015, at 5:30 PM, Devlin Richard <devlin.richard@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US>
wrote:
We are meeting tomorrow to start the process to review your request. This should only
take a few days but in the meantime I’m sure we will have questions especially on
Chuck Michael role, defining ongoing collaboration and support and other issue
that may arise. Whom should we contact for question? We would prefer it be you.
From: Joe Sperber [mailto:jsperber@nahsr.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2015 3:20 PM
To: Brown Ken; Devlin Richard
Cc: Wendy Meadley; Chuck Michael
Subject: Twin Cities to Rochester Passenger Rail Corridor Project Transition Request

Re: Olmsted County / Twin Cities to Rochester MN High Speed Rail Corridor Project
Transition Letter Request
It is our desire to transition the current Zip Rail Project from a publicly funded
transportation project to a privately funded transportation oriented development
project with high speed rail corridor development in the center of it all.
At this time, North American High Speed Rail Group (NAHSR), a Minnesota company is
requesting the transfer of all rights and responsibilities related to the completion of
the Tier 1 EIS feasibility study, the service development and business plan
components. Additionally, if relevant and within the county’s rights and
responsibilities, the right to go ahead with development upon successful
completion of the appropriate federal, regional and state level authorizations and
approvals including the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
In order to successfully transition this important economic development project for
Minnesota and the Southeastern region of Minnesota including: Olmsted,
Goodhue, Dakota, Ramsey and Hennepin (the affected counties along the proposed
corridor), the North American High Speed Rail Group requests the project
management collaboration and continuity of the current Project Manager, Chuck
Michael through 2015. This also allows for the significant relationships and
knowledge created and cultivated at the city, county and regional levels to continue
to be leveraged to the success of the project.
Page 1 of 2

The following are specific requests that the NAHSR would find helpful to our
continued public and private development efforts:
6.
Project Rights and Responsibilities Transfer- (as soon as possible- we would
like to go public with transfer during this legislative session)
7.
Project Documentation Transfer
8.
Project Data Transfer
9.
Commitment of Ongoing Collaboration and Support as is appropriate (Olmsted
County, City of Rochester, and Mayo related)
10. Ongoing Legislative Collaboration and Support as is appropriate to minimize
legislation that would impede the successful development and completion of the Twin
Cities to Rochester High Speed Rail corridor
11. Collaboration and Support as NAHSR continues to support the MN DOT Statewide Rail
Plan
We appreciate the opportunity to continue this important effort that Olmsted has
lead and sheparded to date. We at NAHSR look to continue that stewardship to
develop a comprehensive economic development project that will stage
Southeastern Minnesota for future economic development and growth for
generations to come.
Regar
ds,
Jo
e
Sp
er
be
r
CEO/President
North American High Speed Rail Group
jsperber@nahsr.com
612-819-6816 Cell
Riverview Office
Tower 8009
34th Avenue
S. 15th Floor
Bloomington, MN 55425

Page 2 of 2
March 13, 2015
RAIL ISSUES
We are waiting for Transportation Commissioner Zelle to give us approval to transfer the
ZIP Rail to
the private developer. Commissioner Zelle is planning to meet with Governor Dayton
sometime
during the week of March 16, 2015, seeking approval to move ahead forward with the
transfer to the

private developer.
March 20, 2015
RAIL ISSUES
The private investors for the Zip Rail were at the Capitol on Thursday morning, meeting
with State
and County representatives. Commissioners Brown and Kiscaden were present and can
provide you
with more information about how the meeting went. Please see the attached handout
used during the
meeting.

April 10, 2015
Rail Legislation Update
We have a threefold strategy to Representative Drazkowski’s legislation prohibiting
Olmsted County
from spending public funds on the Zip Rail.
First, we will seek to separate DMC amendments from the restrictions on Zip Rail
legislation. I believe
this has already been accomplished.
Second, we want the Legislature to simply state that we (the County) cannot spend
money to build or
run a railroad. If they are not willing to state that, then we are trying to expand the
current language
prohibiting local government from making decisions regarding public projects associated
with rail
infrastructure (parking lots/ramps, bus stations, etc.). We do not yet know what
infrastructure may be
necessary, but we do know that we need to maintain enough flexibility to respond to
local needs in an
efficient manner. Please see the attached “talking points” from Paul’s April 9 meeting
with the
Legislature.
Third, we will attempt to mitigate potential private development problems from the
Legislature. Please
see the attached email from Wendy Meadley to Representative Drazkowski about the
need for
collaboration between business and government. If the Legislature creates too many
obstacles, the
investors may walk.
OLMSTED COUNTY TALKING POINTS (Commissioner Paul Wilson 4-9-15)
We have been working in a very cooperative way with Rep. Drazkowski and
greatly appreciate his willingness to listen to us.
12.
13.

That said, we don’t believe any legislation is needed.

The people of Olmsted County have neither the desire nor the money to build
or run a multi-billion dollar, 90-mile passenger rail system.
14.

In fact, exactly because of the cost, as the Chair of the Olmsted County Board of
Commissioners, I hav welcomed the news that private enterprise wants to build and run
this project.
15.

If the Legislature needs to pass something saying Olmsted can't build or run a
railroad, just have language that says that.
16.

The language before you is quite complicated and could have far-reaching impact,
most of which won’t be known until far into the future.
17.

On behalf of our constituents, we need to protect our ability to oversee and regulate
the project and, if warranted, be able to build things adjacent to the railroad – like a bus
station or parking ramp– for the convenience of our constituents.
18.

Page 1 of 3

-

There may be other activities we need to do – we simply don’t know.

-

The language could force governments to be inefficient – even
preventing governments from responding to the will of their constituents.

-

Because we won’t build or run a train system, and because we don’t know
how the language could adversely affect any private option or our ability to meet
the needs of our constituents far into the futur we can’t support the bill.

-

Again, if you don’t want Olmsted County to build and/or run a railroad,
just say that simply.

-

We remain open to helping Rep. Drazkowski achieve his goal in a
way that doesn't harm our constituents or impair a private option.
Page 2 of 3

SIMPLE REFRAIN - for every question, keep coming back to this:

-

We don't believe any legislation is needed.

-

If you have to pass something, make it simple: Olmsted County can't spend
money to build or run a railroad. Period. This language is too convoluted.

EXAMPLES

-

For example, what if constituents determine that doing something – who
knows what – while the land is torn up during the private construction makes
sense?

-

This language makes that impossible. Instead we have to wait until it is
completely built then tear up land, close roads etc.

-

That would be the epitome of government inefficiency.

-

The terms are so broad as to seem to prevent everything.

-

It doesn’t make sense to us to prohibit a local government from
making decisions that its constituents want or will save them money and
inconvenience.
Page 3 of 3

From: Wendy Meadley [mailto:wmeadley@nahsr.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2015 4:59 PM
To: rep.steve.drazkowski@house.mn
Cc: Joe Sperber; Caucutt Amy; Patrick Sexton
Subject: North American High Speed Rail Group's Response to HF920 Revisions / April 7th

Good Afternoon Representative Drazkowski,
While I know that Joe Sperber, NAHSR President + CEO, is calling you personally
regarding the HF920 Revisions as of 4-7-15, we wanted to memorialize our
comments and copy our colleagues at Olmsted County as well.
To state this as simply as possible, the current revision is cumbersome at best. The
language that has been built into this version does not capture the spirit of the
conversation that we had with you in your office. That is, a spirit of
reasonable collaboration between business and government to appropriately provide
fo future economic development. We now have a version with a great deal of
friction and stickiness for local and regional government to navigate through with
unreasonable time frames that hinder a successful development process.
As none of us know what the future brings, we respectfully request additional review
and revision of this current unworkable version.
As always, we appreciate your time and consideration,
Very best regards,
Wendy Meadley
Chief Strategy
Officer
North American High Speed Rail Group
wmeadley@nahsr.com
o / 952.737.6625
c / 952.446.5105
April 24, 2015
RAIL ISSUES
North American High Speed Rail (NAHSR) Group
NAHSR has announced that they have hired a leader for their Rail Subsidiary unit, but
this
information has not yet been made public. Also, the MnDOT MOU has not been
finalized. Please see
the attached email from Chuck Michael, dated April 19, 2015.
April 24 article in Post Bulletin

The article published in today’s (April 24) edition of the Rochester Post Bulletin
contained inaccurate
information about the estimated number of patients coming from the Minneapolis/St.
Paul area. Mayo
Clinic was concerned about the article, so Chuck sent a correction to the Post Bulletin.
Please see
the attached email from Chuck Michael, dated April 24, 2015.
2nd Data Practices Request for Zip Rail
I have attached a copy the second data practices request received pertaining to data
about the Zip
Rail. Please see the attached email from Dave Mueller.
From: Chuck Michael <chuck.michael@gmail.com>
Date: April 19, 2015 at 9:49:06 AM CDT
To: ' Richard Devlin' <devlin.richard@co.olmsted.mn.us>
Cc: <brown.ken@co.olmsted.mn.us>
Subject: FW: NAHSR Group
Richard,
Here is Joe Sperber’s response to MnDOT’s questions. The leader for the rail division has
been
hired but is not yet public. I won’t begin any discussions with them until there is a clear
direction
and MnDOT has finalized the MOU.
NAHSR’s primary partner will be China CNR Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer
and
builder of high speed rail with over 35,000 km in service throughout the world.
Chuck
From: Davis, Eric (DOT) <Eric.Davis@state.mn.us>
Sent: Thursday, April 9, 2015 12:25 PM
To: Joe Sperber
Subject: NAHSR Group
Joe –
In preparing to brief the Governor, a few questions have come up about the NAHSR Group.
Specifically,
1. How / where are you incorporated?
Hi Eric, We have 2 soon to be 3 registered Corporations all in Minnesota. (I can give you EIN
Numbers if needed) Our Holding Company which is the company investors will invest in, was
formed in early 2014. It has a Full PPM and business plan which I can share. This Company is
currently has 3 founding shareholders, Joe Wang, Joe Sperber and David Melander, but will be
will have a 50-50% split between International investors and US investors. It will remain a
Minnesota Based Company.
We have two other subsidiaries which will have their own Leadership, The Rail division(formed
in 2014) which will be in charge of Constructing and Running the rail The Third will be a real
estate division (formed in 2015) which will own and operate all our Real Estate holdings. We
have hire specific Leaders which will be announced later this spring who come with many years

of experience running their respective businesses. All are Minnesota Based.
2. Aside from you, who are the principles of this corporation? Who is on the board of directors?
Who are the owners (shareholders or investors)?
Joe Wang Chairman, Joe Sperber President CEO and David Is EVP . Our Business Board is being
interviewed right now but it is likely some people with Experience in this type of project and
some of the key investors will have board seats. Our Advisory Board has been formed since last
year and is Chaired by Bill Goines of Fed EX. Many of the initial investors wish to remain
confidential until feasibility is done and we have the long term Go ahead.
3. Can you give us details on your experience in constructing and operating a project such as
the
proposed HS rail line between Rochester and the Twin Cities?
Joe Wang has extensive Infrastructure Experience in China constructing Roads, Harbors,
Airports. That is where most of our High level investors from China are coming from/through.
Our Investors in China have built 35,000 KM of high speed rail all over the world and in China
over the last 10 years. Parsons is our Program Manager and have also had significant HS Rail
experience all over the world. We have identified a person here that will run our Rail Subsidiary
who has a very recognizable pedigree in building infrastructure in America. We feel it is
important to have experienced leaders in these positions. (Same with our Real Estate Division)
They have already excepted our employment offers but want to remain confidential until they
are on boarded. I think you can understand that but you will recognize them as credible
leaders when they are announced, I can assure you of that.
4. Can you clarify the mix of foreign investments / interests proposed for this project? (e.g. 5050% split between US investors and foreign, or…)
I can have our counsel send you a full PPM/Investor Doc if needed. It has our entire Investment
structure and Business Plan
5. We will eventually be interested in a balance sheet or similar that testifies to NAHSR having
the
financial wherewithal to carry out such a project?
The initial investors have signed Letters of intent here and in China but 99% will not invest hard
money until we have "Permission" and control of the corridor from the State. The initial
investment will go to completing the Full Engineering, Environmental and proving out our
Financial assumptions. This will be conducted with our technology Partner in China and Parsons
here in the US. (Not Parsons Brinkerhoff) Once Completed , we will have our proven
assumptions, adjust our business plan as needed and stage 2 investment will start with the
larger Construction project.
These are some preliminary questions that will help our agency inform the Governor’s decisions
/ next
actions. I hope this has been of help. It is crucial to have this MOU and permission soon as our
engineering resources and Investors are ready to go. They know we are waiting on the state to
give us
the go ahead for Phase 1.
With respect,
Eric Davis
Chief of Staff

Minnesota Department of Transportation
395 John Ireland Boulevard, Mail Stp 120
St. Paul, MN 55155
651-366-3402
651-403-2252
eric.davis@state.mn.us
From: Chuck Michael <chuck.michael@gmail.com>
Date: April 24, 2015 at 12:08:06 PM CDT
To: <brown.ken@co.olmsted.mn.us>, ' Richard Devlin' <devlin.richard@co.olmsted.mn.us>,
'Wilson
Paul' <wilson.paul@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US>, 'Sheila Kiscaden'
<kiscaden.sheila@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US>
Subject: FW: Zip Rail
A few clarifications to the P-B article were needed. We don’t disclose Mayo patient
information so I
shared that with Nora O’Sullivan.
From: O Sullivan, Nora J. [mailto:osullivan.Nora@mayo.edu]
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2015 11:54 AM
To: 'Chuck Michael'
Cc: Harrington, Kathleen M.; Oestreich, Karl W.
Subject: RE: Zip Rail

Thanks for clarifying for her, Chuck!!

From: Chuck Michael [mailto:chuck.michael@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2015 11:53 AM
To: O Sullivan, Nora J.
Subject: FW: Zip Rail

Nora,
We corrected the P-B’s statement on daily patient visits. Even if we had the number we
would not
disclose it – we only look at total daily trips.
http://www.postbulletin.com/news/local/zip-rail-backers-make-their-case-inwashington-dc/
article_b035ea9b-4847-5665-bfc4-570d104aa83c.html
Chuck
From: Chuck Michael [mailto:Chuck.Michael@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2015 11:49 AM
To: 'news@postbulletin.com'
Cc: 'Heather Carlson'; Wendy Meadley
Subject: Zip Rail

Tauren,
I realize you may be new to the project, and we appreciate your coverage. A few of your
numbers
came out a little egg-shaped so I thought I would clarify.
MnDOT contributed $2 million to the studies, and Olmsted County contributed $300,000
(not $2 million)
The statement “He anticipates the number of daily patient visits to double from 10,000 to
20,000 after the medical center expands” is incorrect. Today there are 10,000 daily trips

(not patient visits) from the Twin Cities to Rochester that include workers, patients,
visitors, caregivers, and others in aggregate. That daily total is expected to double to
20,000.
Cheers,
Chuck
Charles R. Michael, PE
Project Manager – Zip Rail
Direct: 612.581.3003

From: Mueller Dave <mueller.dave@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US>
Date: April 24, 2015 at 12:17:42 PM CDT
To: "nygaard228@sleepyeyetel.net" <nygaard228@sleepyeyetel.net>
Subject: Data Request
Dear Rochelle Nygaard:
I am writing to keep you informed about your data request. I have made a request for the
collection of
data from elected officials and county employees and those associated/hired or contracted by
Olmsted
County that we believe could have data related to your request. Our technology department is
working
with me to do a search of e-mail and shared drives of these individuals as well. I will notify you
when
data collected is available for your review, etc.
I believe you are aware, but in case you are not, you may find some data related to the Zip Rail
on line
at: www.goziprail.org
When I receive the data we have regarding your request, we/I will need to review it to see if
there is
Confidential, Private, Non-Public data or Protected Non Public Data included. We will process
this
information in a timely manner and will provide you an opportunity to inspect the data. If you
wish to
receive copies of the data in paper or in electronic form, I will inform you of the charges and
payment
required related to such copies before they will be provided.
Thank you again for your inquiry.
Sincerely,
David E. Mueller

Director
Intergovernmental Relations/Data Practices/Organizational Development
507-328-6026 (d)
mueller.dave@co.olmsted.mn.us
_______________________________
Olmsted County
151 4th Street SE
Rochester, MN 55904-3710
www.co.olmsted.mn.us

June 5, 2015

RAIL ISSUES
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and the North American High
Speed Rail Group (NAHSR) are drafting a letter on behalf of Transportation Commissioner
Zelle, which will be released once the Governor signs off on current legislation. Joe Sperber
of NAHSR has been meeting with investors in China this past week, and was not happy that
the letter had not been released in advance. We are not certain of the effect, if any, this may
have on the outcomes of the meetings. Please see the attached email for information about
a recent meeting between MnDOT and Congressman John Kline.
Please also see the attached article as posted in today’s edition of Politico (political
journalism organization based in Virginia). Apparently the state of Maryland is researching
alternative transportation options, including light rail lines (Purple Line) and magnetic
levitation (Maglev) trains.
From: Chuck Michael <chuck.michael@gmail.com> Date: June 5, 2015 at 10:11:47 AM CDT To:
<brown.ken@co.olmsted.mn.us>, 'Wilson Paul' <wilson.paul@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US>, ' Richard
Devlin' <devlin.richard@co.olmsted.mn.us>, 'Jim Bier' <bier.jim@co.olmsted.mn.us>, Matthew
Flynn <flynn.matt@co.olmsted.mn.us> Subject: FW: Rep. Kline
See note below from MnDOT regarding Zip Rail and Rep. Kline. Kline has been briefed on the private
sector funding approach and was satisfied. Further contact and briefings will occur with Rep. Kline
as we proceed.
Chuck
From: Phillips, Sergius (DOT) [mailto:serge.phillips@state.mn.us] Sent: Friday, June 05, 2015 9:44
AM To: Chuck Michael; Krom, Daniel (DOT) Subject: RE: Rep. Kline
MnDOT met with Pat Pelletier (Kline’s transportation staffer) about a number of projects, including
ZipRail. Kline is opposed to the idea. He is getting a lot of complaints from constituents, Pat said.
We updated him on the latest discussions, including the idea of private funding, and he was
satisfied.
Let me know if you have any additional questions.
Serge

POLITICO
Morning Transportation
A daily speed read on transportation and infrastructure
By Jennifer Scholtes
6/5/15 9:59 AM EDT
With help from Heather Caygle.
MARYLAND GOVERNOR EYES MAGLEV TRAINS:
Still holding out on approving or nixing the Purple Line that would connect Bethesda to New
Carrollton, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is out in Asia this week taking a look at an
alternative transportation option: maglev trains that promise to cut the trek between D.C. to
Baltimore down to 15 minutes. The governor took a ride on one of the magnetic levitation
trains on Thursday with the CEO of The Northeast Maglev, a company that’s working with
the Central Japan Railway Company to bring to the U.S. the same kind of high-speed rail
line that connects Tokyo and Osaka at more than 300 mph. Maryland has applied for $27.8
million in funding the FRA is offering for U.S. maglev projects. And the governor’s office
says the federal grant “comes with understanding that the Japanese government will be a
source of significant financial backing for the project, along with private-sector support.”
The Action Committee for Transit, which has been pushing for the governor to back the
Purple Line, criticized the trip to Japan on Thursday. “The Purple Line is funded and ready
to build," the group’s president, Nick Brand, said in a written statement. "Maglev is in the
early planning stages. If the governor can fly to Japan and look at the maglev line, how
come he hasn't found the time to visit Silver Spring or Riverdale Park
June 26, 2015

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and the Community Advisory Committee
(CAC) met
yesterday regarding the Zip Rail. Please see the attached email correspondence from
Chuck Michael
for additional information about the meetings.
As of yesterday, the Governor and Commissioner of Minnesota Department of
Transportation
(MnDOT) have not met to review a Letter of Agreement between MnDOT and the
private investors.
From: Chuck Michael [mailto:chuck.michael@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, June 26, 2015 9:33 AM
To: Brown Ken; Devlin Richard; Wilson Paul; Kiscaden Sheila
Subject: Zip Rail TAC and CAC

On Thursday, June 25 we held meetings in Rosemount at DCTC for both the Technical
Advisory Committee (TAC)
and Community Advisory Committee (CAC). This was meeting No. 7 for the TAC, and the
first meeting for the CAC.
Membership lists for each are attached. We recently added several cities to the TAC
(including Byron, Pine Island,
Wanamingo, Cannon Falls and Zumbrota) and many attended. ROCOG attended via
conference call.

Both meetings went extremely well from our perspective. Both were well attended and
provided for excellent
dialogue between the committee members and the project team, clearing up numerous
misperceptions, rumors,
and disinformation. The CAC, in particular, was most beneficial as this group consists of
residents along the
corridors that have the greatest personal interest in the project – and have been the most
vocal. We opened the
CAC meeting by asking each member to take a few minutes and share their reasons for
applying and their specific
interest in the project. They all appreciated an opportunity to speak and be heard.
The resulting dialogue cleared the air on critical topics such as no roads being closed, no
farms being split, no
impacts on emergency services, no school districts being split, and our intentions of using
existing highway right of
way on Highway 52 resulting in little or no impacts. Most were surprised as they came with
many fears that we
addressed right up front. Certainly there is more work to do here but it was an excellent
start.
A citizen’s group opposed to the project, Citizens Concerned About Rail Line (CCARL) are
members of the TAC and
advertised both meetings, asking that all their members attend to support their cause. Only
one showed up. In fact,
other than a MnDOT communications person and two from CARB, no one else attended.
There are several supporters of Zip Rail that sit on the CAC that we had not been aware of.
They were quite vocal
in their support and the need for the project. They include a mayors (Mendota Heights and
Dennison), a financial
analyst, transportation specialists, engineers, planning commission members, and
professional planners. CAC
members (27) were selected from 67 applications that were reviewed by members of the
TAC independent of the
project team.
A challenge remains with regard to benefits to those communities that will not have a
station. We discussed the
need for a maintenance facility to be located in a strategic location – located somewhere
between Rochester and
the Twin Cities – that would provide local jobs and tax base while allowing for a future
station if it can be justified.
We have more work to do on that but the discussion was well received.
There were virtually no questions, statements or discussion at either meeting that referred
to Olmsted County.
We can discuss further at your convenience.
Chuck
Direct: 612.581.3003
Page 1

Rochester-Twin Cities Passenger Rail Corridor Investment Plan
Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
Updated June 16, 2015
Organization Primary Representative Alternate Representative
Project Sponsors
Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Dan Krom
Praveena Pidaparthi Megan Neeck
Greg Paulson (D6) Mark Schoenfelder (D6)
Garneth Peterson
Peter Dahlberg
Dave Christianson
Lynne Bly (Metro)
Molly McCarthy (Metro)
Pat Bursaw (Metro)
Jon Solberg (South Area Mgr)
Rylan Juran (Aeronautics) Deb Sorenson (Aeronautics)
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Wynne Davis Peter Schwartz
Andrea Martin Richard Cogswell
Olmsted County Regional Railroad Authority (OCRRA) Ken Brown
Chuck Michael
State/Federal Agencies
Federal Aviation Administration (FRA) Gina Mitchell Gordon Nelson
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)* Abbi Ginsberg
Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA)* Becky Balk
(Additional Agencies to be added later)
Counties/Regional Rail Authorities
Dakota County Mark Krebsbach Joe Morneau
Dodge County Guy Kohlnhofer Kirk Rolfson
Goodhue County Ethan Seaberg Brad Anderson
Hennepin County Joseph Scala Joe Gladke
Olmsted County Michael Sheehan Kaye Bieniek
Ramsey County Mike Rogers Josh Olson
Rice County Dennis Luebbe
MPOs/APOs
Metropolitan Airports Commission Patrick Mosites Dennis Probst
Metropolitan Council Arlene McCarthy Russ Owen
Rochester International Airport John Reed Kurt Claussen
Rochester-Olmsted Council of Governments Dave Pesch Charlie Reiter
Cities
City of Bloomington* Shelly Pederson Kirk Roberts
City of Byron* Mary Blair-Hoeft Ann Diercks
City of Cannon Falls* Ron Johnson Cathy Gallups
City of Eagan*
Page 2

Rochester-Twin Cities Passenger Rail Corridor Investment Plan
Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
Updated June 16, 2015
Organization Primary Representative Alternate Representative
City of Hampton* Neil Hoadley
City of Inver Grove Heights* Heather Botten Tom Link
City of Mendota Heights* Mark McNeill
City of Northfield* Nick Haggenmiller Dave Bennett
City of Pine Island* Jon Eickhoff
City of Rochester Richard Freese Doug Nelson
City of Rosemount Jason Lindahl Dwight Johnson
City of St. Paul* Michelle Beaulieu Hilary Holmes
City of Wanamingo* Todd Kyllo
City of Zumbrota* Neil Jensen
(Additional Cities to be added later)
Railroads/Industries
Canadian Pacific Railway Judy Mitchell Herb Jones
Union Pacific Railroad Dave Rector
Flint Hills Resources Don Kern
(Additional entities to be added as needed)
Organizations

UMore Development, LLC/U of M Carla Carlson Steve Lott
Southeast Minnesota Rail Alliance Tim Geisler Nora O'Sullivan
Citizens Concerned About Rail Line Heather Arndt Nora Felton
(Additional Organizations to be added as needed)
* Denotes new member as of June 1, 2015