Oberstar Saying $5 Million Grant Coming For ‘Northern Lights’

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 at 10:46 pm

We are now hearing news that major progress has been made in the effort to bring high speed rail to the area. Reports have surfaced that a $5 million federal grant has been awarded to the Northern Lights Express Passenger Rail Project.

Former Congressman Jim Oberstar told WDIO in Duluth that the Federal Railroad Administration has signed off on the money to continue work on a high-speed line from Duluth to the Twin Cities.

An optimistic Oberstar said this means a working rail project could start benefiting the area within five years.

Oberstar told WDIO that he believed such a line could also encourage businesses to locate in the Northland and would even allow people to live in the Twin Cities and literally commute between the Twin Cities and Duluth.

Oberstar said the money will go toward preliminary engineering, safety assessments of grade crossings and an environmental flyover of the route.

Oberstar also told WDIO that future talks are also in the works with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad for an agreement on a passenger and freight rail service in the corridor.

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