A Larger Role for Pine Co. in NLX? Maybe
Pine County commissioner and board member of the Northern Lights Express (NLX) Rail Alliance, Doug Carlson, is telling the NLX board not to forget about Pine County. The NLX Alliance met Wednesday in Pine City at the Pine County Courthouse. There, Carlson encouraged the board to strongly consider making Sandstone a stop on the proposed rail line from Minneapolis to Duluth.
In the past, the Alliance has discussed several stops in Pine County, most notably in Hinckley. Anoka County Commissioner Dan Erhart assured Carlson that a Sandstone stop in under consideration
Carlson also raised concerns about the value of Pine County’s membership with the NLX alliance. The county receives only one vote compared to other counties like Hennepin who have four. The reason is because Hennepin pays $100,000 for its membership and Pine County pays $25,000. Carlson asked the alliance board to consider making votes based on population not membership fees.
Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the Alliance board listened to a presentation from Praveena Pidaparthi with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. She discussed the state comprehensive statewide freight and passenger rail plan.
According to numbers from the rail demand forecast, it’s estimated ridership in Hinckley would reach 238,000 people by 2030 if the proposed train went 79 mph making four to eight round trip trains a day.