Supporters, Amtrak officials strike positive note after meetings on Duluth-Twin Cities train

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DULUTH, Minn. — After a day of meetings with local officials, an Amtrak executive promised Monday that the passenger railroad is “going to deliver” on proposed service between Duluth and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Joe McHugh, Amtrak’s vice president, state-supported business development, told the Duluth News-Tribune that the proposed 152-mile, 2 ½-hour Northern Lights Express is “in the sweet spot” of Amtrak’s preference for trains that run between 150 and 300 miles and take four hours for less.

McHugh was in Duluth on Monday, and will be at the state capitol today, as part of efforts to revive passenger service on the route. [See “Amtrak, Minnesota officials meet on proposed Duluth-Twin Cities train,” Trains News Wire, March 11, 2019.] While no operating agreements were signed, McHugh said meetings would continue, and that Amtrak would help local supporters navigate the grant process to help launch the service. Estimates are that it would take $550 million to make the necessary route improvements to allow service to begin.

Supporters are optimistic about the efforts to launch the service.

“Every time we have put this project in the news it has ganed more and more support,” Superior, Wis., Mayor Jim Paine told the paper.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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