DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack says he opposes funding for the proposed Northern Lights Express high-speed rail line between Duluth and the Twin Cities.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports that Cravaack says he doesn’t support spending money on a venture that can’t pay for itself. Instead, the freshman Republican says he would prefer to put the money into roads and bridges.

The project would cost about $750 million. Backers say the federal government could pick up 80 percent of the tab.

Cravaack’s predecessor, former DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar, championed the project that would connect the cities with trains that would travel at up to 110 mph and complete the one-way trip in about two hours.

The federal government recently awarded a $5 million grant for the project’s engineering studies.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (23)
  1. chimp crack says:

    I am a koch bros tool.

  2. Rico Suave says:

    Good for him. Trains are huge money pits…Duh….They lose money the day the start running. It’s a no brainer.

    1. grover5995 says:

      Are airports and highways huge money pits as well? Improved passenger rail service relieve highway congestion and helps create economic growth for years to come.

  3. Jack says:

    yahoo finally someone with a bit of fiscal responsibility.

  4. stung4ever says:

    “Backers say the federal government could pick up 80 percent of the tab.”

    And who pays the federal government’s tab? DUH

  5. RA says:

    Not that I think this train is a very good idea, but Cravaack is deluded if he believes roads and bridges are “ventures that pay for themselves.”

  6. Pavel says:

    Sure. This guy can afford to fly anywhere he wants while we pay for the airport constuction, security. FAA monitoring and airport maintenance. The rest of us can walk! Same old Republican jargon.

  7. pat says:

    Cravaack lives the dream. He wants us to pour more and more billions of our tax dollars into a road system that has never supported itself, so that we can send trillions to the Saudis. Thousands of miles of high speed rail lines are being built everywhere but America. What does the world know that we don’t? Do you wonder, Chip?

  8. Frankie says:

    Earth to Chimp what government project ever paid for itself? Surely you do not bring in more money to the government than you cost.. Would there be any real demand for the project? Doubt it. Chimp probably wants better roads to New Hampshire.

  9. snowman says:

    Every other major metro area in the country is investing in rail,but here in rubeland its the same old story no,no, no ,no

  10. Jake says:

    For a change, we have a politician with a brain who knows how to use it. Who would be stupid enough to take a train to go to Duluth? What will you use for transportation once you get there?

    1. Otto says:

      I would…and I would rent a car to drive while there. Just think of all the new car rental jobs it would create. And I think they just may be non-union jobs at that.

    2. d dog says:

      I definitely would. Chimp is such a hypocrite welfare ape. He is on “disability” for sleep apnea and “can’t” work a real job. What a loser.

  11. Moronsamongus says:

    Anyone who takes the time to educate themselves will come to the conclusion that rail roads are far more fiscally efficient then roads. Look into it mister republican and find me a road where a ton of whatever can be moved 500 miles on one gallon of fuel! As for your politicians (I personally feel that republicans & democrats should be disbanded and outlawed) the last thing they are interested in is what is best for the people. It’s all about them. Wake up people and face the FACTS!!!

  12. kim says:

    Who would take a train to Duluth? That would be me and my family. And maybe anyone else who is interested in taking a trip north on I-35 that doesn’t want to sit in traffic on a Friday and Sunday. And what would we do once we got there? Use a taxi, rent a car, or as a bonus — maybe a new business like Hour Car would pop up at the train depot.

    It is so short-sighted to say that no one would use this service. Anyone who has white-knuckled a drive on a snowy MN highway, or sat in traffic, should think about what a boon this could be to a Minnesotans way of life.

  13. Brent says:

    The people who are asking “who would take a train to Duluth” should look at how train transportation is used in the eastern US. Most of the large metropolitan cities are linked together by rail, so people can commute to work from anywhere. More rail means less cars, less pollution, less money spent on gas… and yes, less money spent on roads and bridges. It makes good headlines for Craavack to say he’s being fiscally responsible, but we need politicians who are willing to put politics aside, and do what’s right for our infrastructure. Building wider roads and bridges is not an efficient way to deal with inceasing levels of traffic.

    1. Carl says:

      Do you realize that most people that live in downtown New York do not own a car. They need public transportation to do everything. The point here is that its not worth $750 million so you can take your family on a cheap vacation while the rest of us pay for it. If the raise the fares to pay for the system you would find much more support for the rail line.

      1. Otto says:

        And then we will raise your gas taxes to pay for the road system, bridges.
        My point, gas taxes do not fully cover keeping up our roads, and train fares will not fully cover the rail system. But used in combination, the trains will reduce the wear and tear on the roads, lessening the maintenance money needed to keep them up…thus saving gas tax money, too

  14. Mark Schwinn says:

    He doesn’t support anything that doesn’t pay for itself, yet he wants money for roads and bridges. When did roads and bridges start covering their costs? They make even less money then trains.

  15. Mark says:

    I also would take the train. I lknow I am probably one of the few, but I enjoy Amtrak. I am also very disappointed in this so called new voice for the eigth district. This man knows less about politics, but even less about the advantages of transportation in this district. I can only imagine how many jobs it would create to build, but also the ammount of jobs it would create to sustain. Also all of the off-shoot businesses and tourism increases for Duluth it would create. How abut 45 minutes to Spirit Mountain? Chip cares nothing of our state. He will be leaving when his term is up to be with his pharmaceutical wife in Boston.


    1. StraycatStrut says:

      If you want to build something….. build a stadium.

  16. curly_racks says:

    Great tea bagger logic— because roads really pay for themselves……….then why are they subsidized around 80% of their cost for maintenance??

  17. Rob says:

    Chip has a right to make that statement, but it makes him look REALLY STUPID when he infers that roads and bridges pay for themselves…they essentially do not. All transportation is heavily subsidized in our nation. Do the research, Chip old boy. You need to make a case with different information….perhaps make the case based on lack of congestion and travel times….I can drive from Duluth to downtown St. Paul in 2 hours, sometimes 2 hours and 15 minutes. If a train takes 2 hours, it makes no sense to have a train…think about that type of argument, old boy and you’ll get some traction.