Northern Lights Express Funding Closer Than Ever At MN Capitol

DULUTH, Minn. — The idea of a passenger rail service from the Twin Ports to Minneapolis has gained its best steam yet at the Minnesota Capitol.

On Wednesday, the House Transportation Committee set aside full funding for the Northern Lights Express in its omnibus bill.

The amount is $194,300,000, which is the state’s 20-percent share of the project.

The remaining 80 percent would come from the federal Infrastructure Law, which Amtrak has officially endorsed.

On Thursday, the Minnesota Senate Transportation Committee also set aside funding for the Northern Lights Express, although the amount is far less at $50 million.

However, the $50 million means NLX has a placeholder in the omnibus bill before it makes its way to the Senate floor.

If both bills pass, they’ll head to conference committees for negotiations before Gov. Tim Walz’s desk.

Walz supports funding the project, which comes at a time when the state has a roughly $17 million dollar surplus.

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