MN Valley Regional Rail Authority

The Minnesota Valley Regional Rail Authority was established and organized on June 2, 1982, under the Regional Railroad Authorities Act, Laws 1980, Chapter 616 as a political subdivision and local government unit of the State of Minnesota.  On August 19, 1992, Renville and Yellow Medicine Counties were included in MVRRA by resolution.

Our freight railroad line currently is used to transport corn, soybeans, ethanol, DDGs, tallow, butter, fertilizer, canned vegetables, softening salt, and wood products.

The original railroad line was the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad, and then became the North Western Railroad.  In 2000, after several failed attempts by short lines to operate the branch line, MVRRA sought to bring the line back into operation on behalf of the communities and businesses along the line, which included quarries, food processors, feed mills, and multiple grain elevators.  Prior to this time, the railroad line had been embargoed, or blocked from moving traffic for safety and engineering reasons.

In 2002, the State of Minnesota funded a $4.8 million rehabilitation of the line with the MVRRA providing $600,000 and the Minn Rail Shippers, Inc. providing another $600,000. MVRRA also succeeded in securing federally assisted funding of $1M from the federal government.  This project brought service back to the line at Class I track standards, allowing 10-mile per hour service on the line. 

Prior to receiving the funding, MVRRA arranged a lease agreement to the TC&W, a regional railroad operator, to operate the line beginning in the fall of 2002.  Since the initial rehabilitation in 2002, MVRRA has succeeded in receiving an additional $1.987 M and $2M from the Federal Government to continue further upgrades to the line.  In 2009, MVRRA was awarded $2.5M ARRA grant to continue its rehabilitation activities.  The funds were used for rail, safety, and other track improvements.  MVRRA has received State bonding funds in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, 2011, 2018 and 2019 we are currently redoing the decking over the Minnesota River Bridge and Sulfur Lake Bridge west of Morton, MN.  We have completed rail relay from Norwood Young America to Gibbon, MN and are approved to move at 25 mph minimum now on our track from Gibbon east! 

The investments in the MVRRA rail line are all intended to upgrade the line to a 25-mile per hour speed limit and 286,000 pound maximum per car capacity line for the length of the 94 miles.