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Regional Railroad Authority

The Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA) was established in 1980 as a political subdivision and local government unit of Minnesota. It was established as a separate political entity to plan, design and implement light rail transit in Hennepin County. The Board of Commissioners for the authority consists of the seven members of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners.

Meetings are generally held immediately after regular County Board meetings on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. Meetings will be hosted virtually until further notice. Details for specific meetings can be found our our board meetings webpage

Questions about agenda items may be directed to the clerk at 612-348-3081.

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The 2020 HCRRA budget is $40.2 million, with a property tax levy of $30 million. The HCRRA seeks to improve rail modes of transportation to enhance mobility as a key part of our transportation system.

2020 Regional Railroad Authority budget (PDF)

The Railroad Authority currently owns 46 miles of corridors, seven sites suitable for future park-and-rides, stations, or transit-oriented development; and two railroad depots.

The corridors (PDF) include:

Although acquired for future transportation needs, recreational trails have been constructed on these corridors as an interim use. In 2008, with the construction of the the Dakota Rail and Northeast Diagonal corridors, all 46 miles of corridors are devoted to interim use.


The authority collaborates with many government agencies and a variety of public and nonprofit partners to promote transit development and implement interim uses of rail corridors.

Several HCRRA-owned corridors have found popular interim uses as bicycle and pedestrian trails. However, by statute the HCRRA cannot construct or operate recreational trails, so it partners with the City of Minneapolis and Three Rivers Park District to operate and maintain trails such as the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis and the soon-to-be constructed Dakota Rail Regional Trail which runs through seven municipalities in western Hennepin County.


When established in 1980, the HCRRA's mission was to acquire abandoned railroad corridors in order to preserve them for future transportation use. Today, the HCRRA continues this mission, as well as advocating, planning, and funding rail transportation corridors which will serve the county and the region. The HCRRA is one of several regional railroad authorities in Minnesota.

As a unit of government, the HCRRA has authority to establish levies to fund rail transit projects. HCRRA was a capital investment partner in the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line, contributing $84.2 million toward design and construction (11.8 percent of the total capital investment).


Land use permits may be granted for certain non-exclusive uses of HCRRA land, such as minor utility installations, public events, landscaping improvements and more.

Submit a permit request

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