Plans moving forward for Minneapolis-to-Duluth high-speed passenger rail line [MAP]

Categories: Transportation
trainduluth.jpg
Image by Tatiana Craine
There hasn't been a passenger rail line connecting Minneapolis and Duluth since 1986. That could soon change.
Plans for a Northern Lights Express train connecting Minneapolis and Duluth recently cleared a major hurdle with the completion of an environmental report that found the high-speed line wouldn't have a major impact on the surrounding area.

FROM LAST YEAR: Plans progressing for high-speed rail to Chicago

According to KSTP, the state is spending $8 million on preliminary engineering work that will begin soon and could take two or three years. The total project cost is estimated to be more than $800 million.

The Northern Star Express is planned to have four stops between Minneapolis and Duluth -- Coon Rapids, Cambridge, Hinckley, and Superior, Wisconsin. Here's a map (click to enlarge):
NLX_Corridor_Map_lg.jpg
northernlightsexpress.org

The train would travel at speed up to 110 miles per hour, but even so, it wouldn't get you up to Duluth in significantly less time than driving. According to Finance & Commerce, total trip time on the train would be two hours and 17 minutes, which is just 13 minutes less than what it typically takes to drive from Minneapolis to Duluth on Interstate 35.

Though preliminary engineering work will soon begin, a plan to fund construction of the line isn't yet in place. Finance & Commerce reports that the federal government typically covers 80 percent of the cost of passenger rail projects.


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33 comments
TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

Dumbest idea EVER!

Does anyone have a memory?

We had a train that ran from Saint Paul to Duluth.   What happened to it?  (*hint "northstar 1980's") 

keny1
keny1

This is a waste of tax payer money. We need high speed rail from Mpls to Chicago much more than we need a Mpls-Duluth line. This way, when the welfare mamas from Chicago come to Minneapolis to collect their welfare checks, they won't have to waste their EBT money for the gas to fill up their 1979 Cadillacs with gold rims! Noumsayin?

mrselfdestruct22
mrselfdestruct22

It would be nice to know how frequently the trains would run.

Branden Strot
Branden Strot

if i was going to go up there, probably. it really should go from rah rah rochester to duluth via the cities though.

Summra Sharif
Summra Sharif

Or how about a trains that goes all the way to St. Cloud.

witaxes
witaxes

I definitely support a rail line to Duluth but with the proposed path of the line it makes me curious how crossing into Wisconsin for part of the trip will affect funding (and administration).

mrdave
mrdave

This would be awesome!

Mark Michalski
Mark Michalski

Train. They should build one to Rochester too, just for my own selfish reasons though!

Mary Cooper
Mary Cooper

train! train train train train train!!!

Melissa Barnes
Melissa Barnes

When I go to Duluth it is to drive through Duluth on my way further up the shore. I wouldn't take a train. And when you get to Duluth do they have public transit or does everyone just stay in that area by the lake and walk? Sorry, I don't see the appeal of Duluth.

mbmbbost
mbmbbost

Count on Michele Bachmann fighting anything that makes sense. She has a record of opposing worthwhile transportation investments, aside from that overblown bridge in Stillwater. 

Dan Uebel
Dan Uebel

I would definitely take the train down for games, concerts etc.

Trevor Ludwig
Trevor Ludwig

I'd actually visit Duluth if there was a train I could jump on...

blainegarrett
blainegarrett

"13 minutes less than what it typically takes to drive from Minneapolis to Duluth on Interstate 35" ... not counting sitting stopped on the freeway south of 694 for 30 minutes.

Elisabeth Morley
Elisabeth Morley

I would love this so much--who wants to drive when you can just sit back and enjoy the scenery going by? Also, I think it might help some of the traffic jams along 35W in the summer time.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@witaxes Seeing as how Scott Walker is a few hundred thousand jobs shy of his few hundred thousand jobs promised, I doubt there will be any complaints.  Though he'll probably be out of a job by the time they get to building this thing.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@Melissa Barnes Obviously it's not going to be for everyone.  I don't take the train when traveling to Europe either.  The train doesn't go that far.  

 public transit: http://www.duluthtransit.com/(Nothing like Minneapolis has, but they don't have one tenth the riders either)

When I go to Duluth it is on my way to see my family further north of there, who will be happy to pick me up at the train station.  I would love to spend what amounts to about 12 hours a month reading a book instead of zooming along in my car.


OliverTwist
OliverTwist

@Melissa Barnes That's the problem, and the problem with the California rail plan. Our transit system is still functionally built around cars. I would imagine this is largely for Duluth to Minneapolis traffic, although we need lines like this so that people start imagining the possibility of a reduced car country. 

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