Please be aware this website is a work in progress

NLX is ready to build.  Lend your voice to let elected officials know you support transportation options.

NLX in the public eye. (Most recent news listed first.)


The history of the Northern Lights Express spans more than 40 years, starting in 1975.

To learn more about the changes that have taken place and how Northern Lights Express has grown, read the entire

NLX History Document





NLX goes to D.C.

October 2019

MN Senator Tina Smith, a long-time supporter of rail investments including NLX, met with NLX proponents Ken Buehler, Jeff Anderson, St. Louis county commissioners Patrick Boyle and Keith Nelson, and Gary Cerkvenik.

Duluth Transit Authority Resolution No. 267
May 2019

Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the DTA Board hereby supports the funding, construction and implementation of the NLX project.

See full resolution

Continue studying passenger rail to twin ports
Proposed Northern Lights Express line would link the Twin Cities to Duluth. 

By Editorial Board Star Tribune March 22, 2019

Minnesota lawmakers should get on board with Gov. Tim Walz’s request for $11 million in bonding to further explore passenger rail projects, including $5 million focused on the Northern Lights Express, a proposed Amtrak train between the Twin Cities and twin ports.

Read editorial

Amtrak shows interest in NLX
March 2019
Twice within about a month, Amtrak officials visited Duluth and St. Paul to discuss operating the proposed rail service between the Twin Ports and Twin Cities.
In a letter to the NLX Alliance, Amtrak’s Joe McHugh, vice president of state-supported services, praised the years of work done on the project, and called it “one of the most shovel-ready projects in the nation.”

Amtrak’s McHugh answers reporters’

questions at an NLX event held in the

Duluth Historic Depot, March 11, 2019.

NLX Corridor Leaders Celebrate Project Milestone
April 2, 2018

About 80 community leaders from the Northern Lights Express passenger rail corridor, between the Twin Cities and the Twin Ports, got a project update March 26 at the Historic Union Depot in Duluth. Meeting hosts were Duluth Mayor Emily Larson and Duluth City Council President and NLX Alliance Chair Elissa Hansen. Other presenters included Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle, Amtrak Governmental Affairs Senior Officer Derrick James, and Minneapolis City Council Member Andrew Johnson.

Read More

​​​​​Local View: Studies complete, NLX ready to build
March 20, 2018

Recent news that the Federal Railroad Administration gave the Northern Lights Express passenger-rail proposal a green light to move forward was a reason to celebrate. It also was a moment to strengthen our resolve to get the project across the finish line.

Read More  

​​​​​Klobuchar, Nolan Support TIGER Grant
December 2017


​​​​​Community Leaders Call on Gov. Dayton to include NLX in Bonding
December 2017

Read a joint letter from Duluth, St. Louis & Lake County and St. Louis & Lake Counties Regional Railroad Authority.  See a list of businesses and governmental agencies that sent a similar letter.


​​​​Congressman Advocates for NLX
June 21, 2017

See what Congressman Nolan told the director of the Federal Railroad Administration about the need for NLX passenger rail. 

Letter from Congressman Nolan  

Corridor Mayors Send Letter to Legislators
March 14, 2017

Station city mayors in the NLX corridor collectively sent a letter to their legislators and congressional delegation encouraging them to look at multi-modal transportation options, including the proposed return of passenger rail.

Letter from 7 mayors
Enclosed brochure  

​Changes to the NLX Alliance
Feb. 22, 2017

The Minneapolis-Duluth/Superior Passenger Rail Alliance elected Duluth Councilmember Elissa Hansen chair and Jason Serck, Superior, vice chair, and also added Superior and Cambridge as voting members to continue advocating for the Northern Lights Express (NLX) Passenger Rail Project and to continue working with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to complete the federal review of the 152-mile corridor on existing BNSF Railway tracks.

Read More 

​​​​Commissioner Raukar Addresses Student Survey
April 26, 2016.

Written as a letter to the editor, Commissioner Steve Raukar addresses the benefits of the Northern Lights Express for college age students. In his letter, he focuses on how the transportation would also benefit the state financially as a whole, drawing in more tourism, decreasing the number of roadway fatalities and increasing Minnesota property values. 

Read More

​​​​​NLX Passenger Rail Project Cuts Costs
Dec. 29, 2015.

"At a news conference Dec. 16 in Duluth involving the passenger rail alliance group and the Minnesota and Wisconsin departments of transportation, it was announced that the preliminary estimate of the total cost to implement NLX was now between $500 million and $600 million compared to a previous cost estimate of close to $1 billion."

Read More 

​See the latest project news from the Minnesota Department of Transportation here.