Pine City Native Plays Key Roll in New Commuter Rail
The Northstar Commuter Rail heading to Minneapolis opens Monday. It is the first commuter rail of its kind in Minnesota. Pine City native and Anoka County Commissioner Dan Erhart is the man who helped pushed the project forward. He is the chair of the Northstar Corridor Development Authority.
The commuter rail provides service along 40 miles of existing train track between Big Lake and downtown Minneapolis. Commuters who reach downtown Minneapolis via Northstar can then transfer free to Hiawatha light-rail trains, which will provide service between downtown Minneapolis, the airport and the Mall of America. Northstar Link Commuter Coach bus service, which also began today, will connect St. Cloud commuters with Northstar trains in Big Lake.
Erhart is also working to establish a high speed rail line from Duluth to Minneapolis called the Northern Lights Express. The proposed rail line would cover 155 miles running at speeds up to 110 mph. Congressman Jim Oberstar tells Red Rock Radio he believes the project can finish within the next half-decade.
The Northern Light Express Rail Alliance will meet in Pine City later this month.