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

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

Leaders of All Twin Ports Higher Education Institutions Endorse NLX
March 2020
NLX is a beneficial transportation alternative for students, faculty and staff, say the heads of The College of St. Scholastica, Lake Superior College, the University of Minnesota Duluth, and the University of Wisconsin, Superior.   

See the letter

NLX Funding Bills Introduced in Minnesota House, Senate.
January 2022
Read the news release>

Pine Tech shares our enthusiasm and support!
January 2022
See the letter >

Anoka Ramsey wants to see the train.
January 2022
See the letter >


New leadership elected to NLX Alliance Board.
February 2022
Read the news release>


Northern Lights Express passenger rail advocates not deterred by Senate vote.
May 2022
Read the news release>

Duluth Building and Construction Trade Council backs NLX!
November 2021
"The NLX project is America's #1 shovel-ready rail project and has long been supported by cities, counties, a tribal nation, businesses and industry, and many other stakeholders along the rail corridor from Minneapolis to Duluth and Superior. The working women and men of the Duluth Trades Council are pleased to offer our support to this much needed rail project."   
See the letter >

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

Make Way for National Train Day!
June 2021
Our first completed scavenger hunt at the Union Depot train event! We had a great turn out and welcoming future generations of train enthusiasts!   See photos >

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen wishes to see NLX in action!
November 2021
See the letter >

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

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.


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.”

Please be aware this website is a work in progress

NLX Gets Support from Minneapolis and Duluth Mayors:
May 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 article



NLX Alliance pleased, encouraged by Governor’s bonding proposal.
January 2022
Read the news release >

​​Amtrak’s McHugh answers reporters’

questions at an NLX event held in the

Duluth Historic Depot, March 11, 2019.

Union thinks NLX is a "smart" idea. (Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation).
November 2021
See the letter >

Electrical industry union urges Governor, MnDOT to make NLX a priority and work aggressively to seek new federal rail dollars.
February 2022
See the letter >

Downtown Minneapolis business community is excited about NLX.
January 2022
See the letter >

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

​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.

Minnesota State Building and Construction Trade Council supports NLX!
November 2021
"We are ready to put men and women in the trades to work on the project and we are ready to begin moving people and products throughout the rail corridor. This passenger rail line will connect students to colleges and universities."   
See the letter >