The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) will host two open houses to solicit public comment on an environmental impact study for a proposed fast train corridor between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

OPEN HOUSES: The study to analyze all possible routes for the high-speed passenger rail began in March. Open houses are scheduled for Nov. 29 from 5-7 p.m. at Union Depot in St. Paul and Dec. 6 from 5-7 p.m. at Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.

PORTION IN DOUBT: A key portion of the route is now in doubt in Wisconsin, where Gov.-elect Scott Walker has stated his opposition to building the line.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation, MnDOT's partner in this study, also is hosting open houses, including one Nov. 30 in LaCrosse, Wis., from 5-7 p.m. at the Best Western Riverfront Hotel.

PUBLIC COMMENT will be taken at the open houses and through MnDOT's website at, beginning Nov. 29. The public also can submit comments in writing to Praveena Pidaparthi at MnDOT by e-mail at Comments will be accepted from Nov. 29 through Dec. 29.

PART OF NETWORK: The proposed route to Chicago is part of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, which seeks to create a network of high-speed passenger rail corridors to provide business and leisure travelers with shorter travel times, more trains and improved connections between urban centers and smaller cities.