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2/26/2009



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Minnesota DOT obtains FRA grant to conduct environmental study on high-speed line


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The Federal Railroad Administration recently awarded a $1.1 million grant to the state of Minnesota to conduct an environmental review of the Northern Lights Express, a proposed high-speed rail line between Duluth and Minneapolis.  

The grant will cover half of the study's cost; the Minnesota Department of Transportation will fund the remaining $1.1 million.

The 155-mile Northern Lights Express would access a freight-rail corridor owned by BNSF Railway Co. Trains would reach speeds of 110 mph and make the trip between the two cities in two hours. The project is estimated to cost $560 million, excluding track usage fees.

The Northern Lights Express Passenger Rail Alliance hopes to begin engineering work during the next year and launch operations in 2012.


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