Minnesota inches closer to seeing the materialization of the Northern Light Express (NLX) passenger rail project as the legislature approves a transportation bill that will allocate $195 million in funding for the project. This project is a higher-speed rail that would run along the existing 152-mile BNSF rail corridor, serving passengers from Minneapolis to Duluth, with stops in Coon Rapids, Cambridge, Hinckley, and Superior, Wisconsin.

Railway-News further reported:

The environmental review and service development plan for this project was approved by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in early 2018.

Now, Minnesota Legislature has appropriated state funding for the project, providing the 20% local match required to pursue federal grants for the design work, construction and rolling stock purchases.

It is hoped that federal matching grants will fund the remaining 80% of this work, with the total expected to cost 779 million USD.