New House Transportation Committee Member Will Advocate for High Speed rail

Map of the proposed Northern Lights Express High Speed Rail in Minnesota. Image – NorthernLightsExpress.org

Newly-elected Representative Rick Nolan brings some real-world Congressional and transportation experience to his role on the House Transportation Committee issues.

Nolan, a Democrat (DFL) who will represent Minnesota’s 8th District, served in the House from 1975 and 1982. (He’s about to learn how today’s House is nothing like the House when he previously served.) Nolan left Congress to spend more time with his young family and pursue private business. In the following years, he worked in exports and trade, include a stint as. Chairman, President and CEO of Minnesota World Trade Center Corporation.  He also served as “Chairman of International Association of World Trade Centers Trade Policy Committee, the world’s largest private sector [international] trade group.”

Nolan said he will use his position on the Committee “to try to secure money for the Northern Lights Express high speed rail project, maintain subsidized airline service at regional airports, upgrade the Port of Duluth, modernize the electrical grid and make high speed broadband communications available to all.”

The Northern Lights Express (NLX) is a proposed passenger rail project between the Minneapolis Transportation Interchange station and the City of Duluth, along Highway 65 and Interstate 35. The project is a top priority for regional leaders and is proceeding thanks to $6 million in federal grants.  But back in 2009 the respected pro-mass transit advocate Yonah Freemark was not convinced the NLX was the best investment for the region.

Nolan noted that his three predecessors all served on the Transportation committee.

Sources:

Congressman Rick Nolan website

Rick Nolan wins seat on Transportation Committee,” TwinCities.com

High Speed Rail Gains Speed in the Northland,” NorthlandNewsCenter.com