Open house April 4 in Cambridge on Northern Lights Express

A public hearing and open house to discuss a proposed high-speed passenger rail service from Minneapolis to Duluth will be held Thursday, April 4, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Cambridge Armed Forces Reserve Community Center in Cambridge, 505 Spirit River Drive.

The public is invited to learn more about and formally comment on the Tier 1 Service Level Environmental Assessment for the proposed Northern Lights Express (NLX) service which was released March 18.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation prepared the EA, in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration, the Minneapolis-Duluth/Superior Passenger Rail Alliance and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

MnDOT and Alliance staff will be available at the April 4 meeting to answer questions about the proposed project. There will be no formal presentation.

The proposed project includes constructing the necessary infrastructure for a 155-mile long, high-speed intercity passenger rail service between Minneapolis and Duluth, Minn., a portion of which will travel through Douglas County in Wisconsin, and allow trains to reach speeds of at least 110 miles per hour.

The EA documents the purpose and need of the project along with the anticipated service-wide social, economic and environmental impacts. The EA sets the foundation for subsequent Tier 2 Project Level EAs to be completed as additional design details are developed.

The EA is available on the MnDOT project website Copies of the EA will be available for review during the public hearing/open house and are also available for public viewing during business hours at the Cambridge Public Library, 244 South Birch St. and the Isanti County Government Center, 555 18th Ave. SW, Cambridge.

Comments on the EA may be submitted online at Written comments can be mailed prior to the close of the public comment period on Wednesday, April 17, to Julie Carr, MnDOT Project Manager, Minnesota Department of Transportation, 395 John Ireland Boulevard, Saint Paul, MN 55155-1800.