Hearing set for Mpls-to-Duluth rail line

A public hearing and open house on a proposed high-speed rail project between Minneapolis and Duluth will take place this week.

The 155-mile Northern Lights Express would run primarily along existing BNSF freight rail track and reach speeds of 110 miles per hour.

At the event in Cambridge, Minn., staff members and planners from the state Department of Transportation will answer questions about the proposed project.

Public input will be collected for planners, said Julie Carr, a MnDOT spokeswoman.

"The public hearing is an opportunity to learn more about the project," she said, "and for MnDOT to hear public comments on the proposed project."

Carr added: "High-speed passenger rail service offers a safe, reliable and efficient travel option to the public, connectivity to other existing and planned transportation systems and it offers options to the traveling public."

MnDOT recently released an environmental assessment of the line, which was completed in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration, the Minneapolis-Duluth/Superior Passenger Rail Alliance and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

The hearing and open house will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Cambridge Armed Forces Reserve Community Center.