Minn. gets $5M for Twin Cities-Duluth rail service

The federal government has awarded Minnesota $5 million to develop plans for a high-speed rail line linking the Twin Cities and Duluth.

The Star Tribune reports ( http://bit.ly/kU2084) the money is part of $2 billion in awards announced Monday by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and intended to speed up trains in the Northeast Corridor and expand service in the Midwest.

Dan Krom, who heads the passenger rail office for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, says the award allows Minnesota to move forward with engineering plans for the proposed Northern Lights Express.

The line is intended to have 110-mile-per-hour service. Without the money, Krom says the work probably would have been delayed until summer 2012.

Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com