Northern Lights Express Passenger Rail Project Tier 1 Environmental Analysis and Preparation of a Service Development Plan

The Northern Lights Express Passenger Rail Project is a proposed 150-mile high-speed intercity passenger rail line between Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN and Duluth, MN. The project includes the preparation of a Service Development Plan, public outreach, project design criteria, curve geometric improvements, consultant design contracts, and corridor train modeling to evaluate capacity and passenger train speed alternatives.

Services Provided


Quandel completed an Alternatives Analysis that identified a set of passenger rail routes for further environmental analysis. Quandel developed a methodology to reduce the overall universe of alternative rail routes (existing, abandoned, or out of service) to a set of reasonable routes.


Quandel completed Concept Engineering Plans detailing the upgrades necessary to operate high-speed passenger service on two reasonable alternative routes within the corridor.


Quandel conducted field assessments of yards, mainline and terminal areas, provided operational participation in the Lidar mapping phase and met with railroad representatives in Minneapolis, Superior and Duluth.