Plans to expand the Northstar commuter rail line are already in the works after the project received $156.8 million in federal funding in December.

The Anoka County Regional Railroad Authority (ACRRA) met Tuesday and discussed how to add stations in Fridley, Coon Rapids and Ramsey. Members also approved a $190,000 study that will look at the feasibility of extending the commuter rail line from the proposed Coon Rapids-Foley station to Cambridge.

Ramsey city officials recently renewed their pursuit of a stop on the 40-mile line from Minneapolis to Big Lake. Northstar officials have expressed support for the city's request, but they still have to determine how many people might use the stop and how it would be paid for.

They said they will look at what it would take to secure federal funding for the Ramsey stop, which could cost more than $8 million.

The county is also looking at an extension of the Northstar line to Cambridge, which would run through Andover, Oak Grove and St. Francis. The study will look at ridership in the area and other factors that could help secure federal funding for the project.

The study comes at the same time that plans are advancing on the passenger rail line from Minneapolis to Duluth. The two projects would be separate but could share the rail corridor.

Anoka County Commissioners Robyn West and Rhonda Sivarajah voted against the study because they wanted to see Isanti and Hennepin counties contribute to the cost.

Lora Pabst • 612-673-4628