Mpls.-to-Duluth rail price tag climbs to $1 billion


From Strib: Mpls.-to-Duluth rail price tag climbs to $1 billion Calling at Coon-Rapids/Foley, Cambridge, Hinckley, Sandstone, and Superior. A maximum speed of 110 mph.

By PAUL LEVY, Star Tribune Last update: November 29, 2009 - 10:48 PM

The cost of the proposed high-speed Northern Lights Express rail line from Minneapolis to Duluth has gone up -- way up -- to nearly $1 billion, according to state officials.

Even the more conservative estimate of $615 million recently advanced by supporters of the rail line is nearly double last year's $360 million price tag.


Given that this implies interest/opportunity costs of considerably more than $100,000 a day, not to mention actual operating costs, the subsidy per ticket will probably top $100. Why not just set the money on fire?

This makes me laugh, because whenever they set out to set budgets for whatever building project, they get it so wrong.

What would happen if you had a construction company in to build you an extension to your house, they quoted $20,000 at the beginning and, by the end it was $50,000.

Would you just pay it and say nothing?

Does it not beg the question that these people who set the original budgets should be guided better, or should it be placed in the hands of private construction firms to get the figures right or they button the shortfall themselves.

Always great to see expansion and development - but I think the figures are just pie in the sky to begin with, then they get the true picture once they get half way through.

David Levinson

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on November 30, 2009 10:31 AM.

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