Northern Lights Express Awarded Grant for Study
Washington DC – The State of Minnesota will receive federal funding to conduct an environmental review of a passenger rail line between Duluth and Minneapolis. Tuesday, Congressman Jim Oberstar announced that the Federal Railroad Administration has awarded $1.1 million to help pay for half of the cost of the $2.2 million study; the Minnesota Department of Transportation will finance the remainder of the costs.
“I expect this study to demonstrate a positive impact on the environment,” said Oberstar. It will take cars off the road, and reduce air pollution and fuel consumption. Because the Northern Lights Express will operate on existing rail lines, it will only have a minimal impact on forests and wetlands.”
The Northern Lights Express Passenger Rail Alliance hopes to begin the engineering work on the rail line in the next year. If all goes as planned, the first train could begin running in 2012.