Northern Lights Express shunted into the sidings

MPR News reports:

The Minnesota Senate voted Monday to prohibit planning for a new passenger rail service between the Twin Cities and Duluth, which is known as the Northern Lights Express.

Lawmakers amended the transportation section of a larger supplemental budget and policy bill with the prohibition language. It would prevent the state transportation commissioner and the Metropolitan Council from spending any money on the project.

This is good news. Center of the American Experiment has long opposed this project because, as I’ve explained, the proposed train would not have been quicker, cheaper, or more convenient that any currently existing travel option. Indeed, as I noted recently, for $500 million to $600 million in public money:

All it would do is give you the option of going from where you aren’t to where you don’t want to go, more slowly, and more expensively than driving.

The Northern Lights Express was always a solution looking for a problem and the Senate has done taxpayers a huge favor by shunting it into the sidings. But it is unlikely to remain there. I have no doubt that we haven’t heard the last of this scheme and that we’ll be back having this debate again in the future. But until then, let’s bank this as a win for Minnesotans.