Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Northern Lights Express

Proposed passenger rail service between Minneapolis and Duluth, MN

Background

Frequently asked questions

View project FAQs.

Timeline

NLX schedule timeline

2020

  • Operation (potential service starts 2020)

2018-2019

  • Final design and construction (2.5 years)
  • Testing (1 year)
  • Public engagement (ongoing)

2017

  • Tier 2 Project Level Environmental Review (ongoing)
  • Public engagement (ongoing)

2015-2016

  • Preliminary engineering of public roadways and bridges completed
  • Preliminary engineering of track and railroad bridges by BNSF ongoing
  • Tier 2 Project Level Environmental Review ongoing

2015

  • Preliminary engineering of public roadways and bridges initiated

2014-2015

  • Identify locations for stations and other facilities identified
  • Operating plan defined
  • Tier 2 Project Level Environmental Review initiated

2013-2015

  • Initial ridership forecasts, revenue projections, benefit assessment completed

2013

  • Completed Tier 1 Service Level Environmental Assessment
  • Finding of No Significant Impact received

Historical timeline

View historical timeline of the Arrowhead, North Star and Northern Lights Express.

Reports and studies

Additional background information

Read more about the Northern Lights Express Passenger Rail Project.

More about passenger rail

Read more about passenger rail in Minnesota.