Diane Saunders wrote a great commentary about the Northern Lights Express (Local View: “Truly high-speed rail needed between Duluth, Minneapolis”), which was published on the Sunday Opinion page of March 26.
In my view, though, it didn’t go far enough.
The proposed route would be along BNSF track with its more-stringent high-speed mandates. If the track is improved, the government basically could be building "free" new track for BNSF, and NLX would have very limited speed.
Some countries with no phone lines leapfrogged straight to cell phones. We similarly should jump straight to high-speed trains. Long ago, riders wanted to view the scenery, but today they want to be teleported from point A to B and stare at laptops. I recommend running a single track down the freeway median for a 300 mph train. If people could make the trip to Minneapolis-St. Paul in 30 minutes they would use this train and a double track would be unnecessary.
When drivers see trains flying by at five times their speed, you have the best free advertising possible, increasing ridership.
In fact, I would like to see a faster elevated maglev system. But I won't hold my breath.
James L. Slabodnik