Cost of Twin Cities to Duluth high-speed train slashed in half

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Changes to a proposed high-speed rail line between the Twin Cities and Duluth will slash the cost of the project by as much as half.

At a press conference on Wednesday, the Minneapolis-Duluth/Superior Passenger Rail Alliance revealed the new projected cost for the Northern Lights Express is now between $500-600 million, down from a previous estimate of $1 billion.

The cost savings have been achieved by cutting down the number of proposed daily trips between the cities from eight round trips to four, and by reducing the speed of the service from 110 mph to 90 mph.

MPR reports this would eliminate the need to build an extra track, with the service running on existing lines, while reducing the number of places freight trains would have to move out of the way.

And the rail alliance, who made the announcement in conjunction with both the Minnesota and Wisconsin transportation departments, believes the reduction in services and speed won't impact passenger numbers.

It expects in 2020, the possible first year of operation, that between 700,000 and 750,000 trips will be taken on the 152-mile line – and that could rise to 1 million riders by 2040.

Traveling at 90 mph and making stops in Coon Rapids, Cambridge, Hinckley and Superior, the entire length of the journey would be 2.5 hours, similar to the journey by car, and would cost $25-30.

MPR notes the federal government is expected to pay for 80 percent of the eventual price tag.

KBJR reports that MnDOT is currently halfway through the environmental review process, but hopes to start work on the new rail system in two years and have it running in five.

Next Up

DirecTV

DirecTV subscribers could lose KARE 11 on Tuesday

A new contract needs to be agreed upon by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

prison, Rush City cell block

Inmate from Rush City prison dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The man is the fifth incarcerated person in Minnesota to die from COVID-19.

ambulance

Belle Plaine man dies after duck boat capsizes on lake

One man was found sitting on the overturned boat while another man was in the water.

Screen Shot 2020-11-29 at 4.59.51 PM

Watch: Adam Thielen watches end of Vikings/Panthers just like all of us

The Vikings receiver looked like a true fan on Sunday afternoon.

Chad Beebe

Chad Beebe's roller-coaster fourth-quarter keeps Vikings playoff hopes alive

A muffed punt and a game-winning touchdown helped defeat the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.

127266986_2766399800267634_3587849554502438415_n

West-central MN cops warn kids to stay off ice, or 'Santa won't come'

This comes amid repeated ice warnings across the state.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Nov. 29 COVID-19 update: 57 deaths, nearly 9,000 more cases

Nearly 100,000 tests were included in Sunday's report.

jim ramstad

Watch former Rep. Jim Ramstad's memorial service online

The ceremony will be live-streamed for the public on Sunday.

EDL1LeKXsAEeH32

How high can Rashod Bateman go in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Gophers star receiver has plenty of praise heading into next April.

TCF Bank Stadium

15 more from Gopher football team test positive for COVID-19

That brings the total number of cases from this outbreak to 40.

Teddy Bridgewater

5 questions for Vikings-Panthers Week 12 NFC battle

The Vikings welcome Teddy Bridgewater back to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

police lights

Man, 21, in custody after Albert Lea police officer shot in the chest

The officer was able to drive to an emergency room.

Related