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RAIL EMPLOYMENT



Rail News Home High-Speed Rail

9/9/2011



Rail News: High-Speed Rail

USDOT obligates $5 million for Northern Lights high-speed rail project


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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has obligated a $5 million High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program grant to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for the proposed Northern Lights Express (NLX) high-speed rail line between Minneapolis and Duluth, Minn.

The grant will be used to complete preliminary engineering and environmental reviews for the 155-mile project, the USDOT announced today.

As part of the grant requirements, MnDOT must complete an environmental review for the corridor. The USDOT already has provided grants totaling $2.7 million for the initial phases of that environmental review; MnDOT will contribute $3 million to the preliminary engineering/project environmental review phase of the project, USDOT officials said.

The NLX project is being developed by the Minneapolis-Duluth/Superior Passenger Rail Alliance, which plans to operate trains at speeds up to 110 mph on the corridor. In July, the Federal Railroad Administration approved a preferred route, which would use existing BNSF Railway Co. track from Minneapolis to Duluth in the Highway 65 and Interstate 35 corridor.

The NLX line will feature stations in Coon Rapids, Isanti, Cambridge, Hinckley, Boylston and Duluth, Minn.


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