The passenger rail project planned to run from the Twin Cities to Duluth just rolled through another milestone.
Making sure the railway's construction wouldn't affect the environment adversely was the latest hurdle. After it was determined that it won't, things are clear to proceed as planned.
Branded the “Northern Lights Express”, the project would have stops in Minneapolis, Coon Rapids, Cambridge, Hinckley, and Duluth. It's planned to operate on an existing 152 miles of existing BNSF corridor.
Estimates for the entire project are between $500-$600 million, though it's unclear where funding will be found, with an optimistic completion in 2020.
Potential future passengers would pay $30 for a one way trip between Minneapolis and Duluth which would take 2 and a half hours. Currently, driving on I-35 from Target Field to Duluth takes 2 hours and 19 minutes, and would expend less than $30 in fuel (for most modern vehicles). However, for those who can't make the drive it would be an incredible convenience.
More about the project can be found here.