DULUTH, MN, May 10, 2011 (Northland’s NewsCenter ) – Recently announced federal funds may accelerate plans for a passenger rail from Minneapolis to Duluth.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Senator Amy Klobuchar spoke today about the Northern Lights Express rail project and why it was picked to get $5-million from the federal railway administration.
The Transportation Secretary said Governor Mark Dayton, project leaders, and government officials, including Senator Klobuchar, really pushed to make sure the project was noticed.
The Northern Lights Express was one of 22 rail projects that got part of the $2-billion federal dollars available.
Secretary LaHood said this money will help create the blueprint for this project determining what still needs to be done, such as replacing parts of tracks to allow for higher speeds.
He said there’s a lot of public enthusiasm for high-speed rail projects.
Senator Klobuchar agreed saying she wants greater Minnesota to be on leading edge.
” This what Americans want . They want to get out of their cars, out of conjestion, away from high gasoline prices, on transportation that is affordable, convenient and comfortable,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
” We have never allowed our part of the country to fall behind before and we’ve always been in front of the curve, and you look how Minnesota’s been doing better than the rest of the country ’cause of our belief in progress and our belief in the future,” said U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar.
Senator Klobuchar said there’s been a lot of focus on rail travel in the Twin Cities.
Secretary LaHood said President Obama and Vice-President Biden are going to be the rail men of this century.
Their plan is to have 80 percent of America connected with high-speed rail in 25 years.