A study released last week concludes that based on current freight rail traffic through Rochester, a railroad bypass is not needed.
The Southeast Minnesota Freight Rail Capacity Study was sponsored by MinnDOT, the Olmsted County County Regional Rail Authority, and the Federal Railroad Administration.
The Rochester Post-Bulletin reports the study, released last week, also determined that should freight traffic increase, the bypass options that were under consideration would be more expensive than even the most costly mitigation options for the existing line through Rochester.
The results of the study signify the end of a long process dating back to 1998 when the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad began proposing to bring coal trains through Rochester from Wyoming to Winona's commercial harbor.
Since then the DM&E changed hands and there has been a higher demand for cheaper natural gas.