About this project
The Northern Lights Express is a proposed high speed passenger rail project that would provide rail service between Minneapolis and Duluth. If constructed, NLX will operate on approximately 155 miles of existing BNSF rail corridor.
Year in review
2013 was an exciting year for the NLX project with many activities that advanced the project forward.
- With the completion of the Tier 1 Environmental Assessment and the Federal Railroad Administration’s issuance of a Finding of No Significant Impact in August, the project was able to proceed to preliminary engineering and the Tier 2 project level environmental review.
- After six years of project leadership by the Minneapolis-Duluth/Superior Passenger Rail Alliance, the project lead was transitioned, as planned, to MnDOT. MnDOT works in collaboration with the Federal Railroad Administration, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Alliance.
- Quandel Consultants, a firm with extensive high speed passenger rail experience, was hired to help MnDOT with project management oversight, and coordination of preliminary engineering activities, Tier 2 environmental review and financial planning.
- The Hinckley Loop Study was initiated to assess the feasibility of building a direct rail “loop” connection to the Grand Casino Hinckley.
Now that the Finding of No Significant Impact has been issued, preliminary engineering can begin. Once preliminary engineering is complete, we’ll have all the required documentation and approvals to support final design and construction of the capital projects needed to begin passenger rail service on the NLX line.