Minnesota light rail project moves forward

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MINNEAPOLIS — Metropolitan Council’s southwest light rail project is taking a major step forward after reaching agreements with BNSF Railway and the Twin Cities & Western Railroad to use existing rights-of-way, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

The rights-of-way agreements were the last major component before project leaders could apply for $929 million in federal funding. Metro Council is projected to pay $58.6 million to partnering railroads for land purchases and construction, among other costs.

The council has also secured an agreement with Canadian Pacific for similar rights.

When complete, the 14.5-mile southwest light rail line will connect downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie through St. Louis Park, Hopkins, and Minnetonka. According to the Star-Tribune article, almost 8 miles of the new route will feature light rail and freight operating side-by-side.

The line is scheduled to open sometime in 2021.

Total project costs are around $1.9 billion.

See the original story online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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