Progress in Northern Lights Express Project

The proposed high-speed train will connect the Twin Ports and Minneapolis.

DULUTH, Minn.- A high speed train connecting the Twin Ports has been under the works for nearly a decade, on Monday officials announced the Northern Lights Express project is moving along.

Officials say the window of opportunity for the Northern Lights Express is finally open.  The half billion dollar train has been cleared to seek government funding. The next steps are assembling funds and completing the final design.

Officials acknowledged what a long process it has been, put praised the progress for now receiving government recognition.

“Well projects of this size don’t reach tier two status very often,” Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle said “So it’s a major accomplishment. It really means all the planning work is done.”

Decision makers including local government and Amtrak officials met discussing the future of the train.

Mayor Emily Larson spoke says the projected growing Minnesota population will benefit from this transportation.

“We can all agree that a million more cars on the existing road structure is something that’s not going to work,” Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said. “We also know that we are heavily underfunded on the state and federal transportation levels  on the road system.”

Another key topic, is how the economy will grow by creating the NLX. Meanwhile the project will use 152 miles of existing BNFS railway track. In the proposed plan the service could begin as early as 2020. If you wish to make a public comment visit Northern Lights Express.

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