Enthusiastic Transit Rider
- Jan 23, 2012
The issue is more that it's easier to get $10m through the state budget process than $150m (the last number I saw floated around as a figure for the state match for the proposed Duluth train.)I think the Minnesota legislators know local priorities better than me, and they're the ones that funded the second MSP-CHI train and not the service to Duluth.
This is true, although there would need to be some major investments in connectivity in Duluth to make the train work as a true "gateway to the North Shore." Even the rental car facilities in Duluth/Superior aren't easily accessible from downtown Duluth, and transit access is basically unheard of. Some people will bring bikes on board and explore that way, but in order for it to work well as a "drive a car up to the cabin/to go camping/to explore the North Shore" solution you'd need easy car rental access and some sort of regular, multiple-times-a-day bus access along Highway 61 (so people could at least get to the major attractions without a car.)I think you’d be surprised how many Minnesotans are fond of going up north.
It still has value as a link between the two cities and points in between - there's a lot of college students from the Twin Cities that go to colleges in Duluth (and some vice versa - or at intermediate points) and, at least pre-COVID, there likely would be some commuter traffic from intermediate points to Minneapolis. Hinckley also has a casino that'd likely drive train traffic for people wanting to visit the casino. But in order for that all to work, you'll need more than a single frequency a day - there's bus access currently, and I don't think a single train a day would be worth the investment in stations, track work, etc. that'd be needed to get a train up to Duluth.