President Biden proposed a huge new spending plan this week that could, if passed, add new Amtrak train service between Duluth and the Twin Cities.

As part of the President's $2 trillion infrastructure/jobs proposal, there is $80 billion designated for rail service and improvements, that money could be used to add more than 30 routes to the current passenger train service in the country and connect up to 160 more communities to the rail network.

A route from the Twin Cities to Duluth is on Amtrak's 2035 vision plan, with additional routes also added to connect Eau Claire and Green Bay to the 'Empire Builder' line which connects Chicago, the Twin Cities and Seattle, and the rest of Amtrak's train service.

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Planning has been underway since 2000 to get passenger trains moving again from the Twin Cities to Duluth with the Northern Lights Express project, this plan would involve using existing BNSF rail lines for a daily high-speed commuter train.

The last update on the project was in February 2020 when a bill was introduced for more funding, but of course the pandemic put everything on hold a month later, so look for this conversation to start up again if the President gets what he's asking for.

In a statement Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn said, "Amtrak has a bold vision to bring energy-efficient, world-class intercity rail service to up to 160 new communities across the nation, as we also invest in our fleet and stations across the U.S."

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