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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Governor's Council on Freight Rail

Active dates:2016 -

The council was established to elevate coordination and partnership between the state and railroads; to actively promote safety and reduce risks; and to ensure efficient movement of goods to support our economy while minimizing the impacts of those operations to our local communities.

The council shall consult with and solicit advice from private industry, governmental entities, labor unions, and nonprofits regarding concerns and opportunities with freight railroads and related activities.

The council must meet at least four times per year and prepare an annual written report to the Governor by February 1.


In June 2017, Governor Dayton appointed Arlene Tchourumoff to serve as the director of the Met Council effective July 31. She had been serving as the first Rail Director for the Council on Freight Rail. In October 2017, Tenzin Dolkar, a senior policy advisor to Governor Dayton, was appointed Rail Director.

In April 2019, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 19-19, which rescinded Executive Order 16-06 (through which Governor Dayton had originally established the Governor's Council on Freight Rail). In that same executive order, Governor Walz established a largely similar council to Governor Dayton's, with some changes to the minimum required meetings per year and other slight adjustments to the council's duties.


As of 2019, the Council shall include the following:

  • the Governor or designee (Chair of the Council);
  • the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation (Vice-Chair of the Council);
  • Commissioner of Agriculture;
  • Commissioner of Commerce;
  • Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development;
  • Commissioner of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board;
  • Chair of the Metropolitan Council;
  • Commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency;
  • Commissioner of Public Safety;
  • and Commissioner of Revenue.

The Council shall also include, by invitation:

  • one representative each from the Class I railroads operating in the state;
  • one representative each from three Minnesota Class II and III railroads;
  • one representative from Amtrak;
  • one city representative designated by the League of Minnesota Cities;
  • and one county representative designated by the Association of Minnesota Counties;
  • and one tribal member designated by the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council

Entries for this agency in the Annual Compilation and Statistical Report of Multi-Member Agencies Report: 2022.

Note: This report provides membership details as well as meeting information and a summary of the group's activities.

Agency heads:

Under Governor Mark Dayton, the Governor's Rail Director served as the Chair of the Council on behalf of the Governor; the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation served as the Vice-Chair of the Council. Rail Director: Arlene Tchourumoff (April 26, 2016 - July 31, 2017); Tenzin Dolkar (October 4, 2017 - January 2019).

Under Governor Tim Walz, the governor himself or his designee will serve as the Chair of the Council.

Gov. Dayton convenes council on freight rail. Cities Bulletin, 8/22/2016.
News clippings and documents. Agencies Notebook Collection, 2017.
Record last updated: 06/13/2023

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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