Cravaack opposes high speed rail to connect Duluth to Twin Cities

Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Dist. 8, opposes funding for the proposed Northern Lights Express high speed rail line between Duluth and the Twin Cities.

The project would cost about $750 million. Backers said the federal government could pick up 80 percent of the tab. However, Cravaack said he doesn't support spending money on a venture that can't pay for itself.

"I would prefer that we put it into roads, put it into the bridges," Cravaack said. "We have quite a few bridges that are in need of repair."

Cravaack's predecessor, former DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar championed the project that would connect the cities with trains that would travel at up to 110 mph and complete the one-way trip in about two hours.

The federal government recently awarded a $5 million grant for engineering studies, and the Federal Railroad Administration has approved a route for the project.

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