February 20, 2018
FRA signed the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Tier 2 Project Level Environmental Assessment. NLX can proceed to final design and improvement once funds are available.
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May 17, 2021
Mayor Emily Larson of Duluth and Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis both signed a letter supporting the NLX project. In their letter they emphasized the importance of new infrastructure and the sustainable solutions for travel.
Read letter > 

On Easter Sunday, AMTRAK runs its last passenger train between Duluth and Minneapolis/St. Paul (Midway Station) ending ten years of service that started as the Arrowhead and ended as The Northstar.  The service folds due to slow track speeds and other operational challenges.

Please be aware this website is a work in progress

​​Short history of passenger rail service in NLX corridor. 



February 2000
In conjunction with Midwest Rail Initiative, a study is done on the feasibility of returning traditional passenger train service between Duluth and the Twin Cities.  The report is not favorable due to traditional speeds, lack of connectivity and only one train per day in the study.

See an extended history of NLX here.


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

August 2006
Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar calls a meeting in his office in Chisholm to review the report from 2000.  Discussion focuses on the possibility of higher speeds, more trains operating in the corridor, the Casino in Hinckley, improved connectivity in Minneapolis, with the Northstar Commuter Rail and Hiawatha (later the Blue Line), and population growth in the last six years. A plan is conceived to form a grass roots organization through the corridor to revisit the opportunity of renewing passenger rail service between Duluth and Minneapolis.

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



February 1, 2017
The University of Minnesota Duluth Campus signs a letter of support on the behalf of NLX. Dr.Lendley C. Black the chancellor of the Duluth Campus supports NLX because it would give students more flexible transportation options. In 2016 approximately 40% of UMD students came from the twin cities and NLX will help attract more students to the beautiful Duluth area. 

April 15, 1975
AMTRAK returns railroad passenger service to the Twin Ports after several years of no trains.  The Arrowhead runs from Superior (Great Northern Depot) to Minneapolis (Great Northern Depot) with no stops.  By winter additional station stops have been added at Sandstone and Cambridge.  In the winter of 1977 service is extended to Duluth.