All Aboard a New St. Paul to Chicago Train?

A second Amtrak trip could be in the Midwest cities’ future.

Amtrak’s St. Paul-Chicago route could get an added trip. (Photo by John Polo)

This is your first of three free stories this month. Become a free or sustaining member to read unlimited articles, webinars and ebooks.

Become A Member

A second Amtrak route from St. Paul to Chicago seems feasible, desirable and could soon be up for environmental review.

A new study conducted by Amtrak (for Minnesota and Wisconsin’s DOTs, and La Crosse County, Wisconsin, which is about halfway along a route between the two cities) found that the train run “would have a robust public involvement component and provide eligibility for federal funding.”

According to Minnesota’s Brainerd Dispatch:

The purpose of the second daily train is to provide improved eastbound reliability and increased train frequency. The study includes an assessment of schedules, ridership, revenue, infrastructure investments, operating costs, and equipment needs associated with adding a second daily train between Minnesota and Chicago. The study assumes the second round-trip train would use the same route as the current Empire Builder service between Chicago and St. Paul with the addition of a Milwaukee Airport Rail Station stop.

Cost estimates for the additional daily trip, which would leave Chicago in the morning and depart St. Paul in the afternoon, are around $95 million. The study suggests that ridership could outnumber that of the current run (which leaves St. Paul in the a.m.) by about 50,000 passengers annually. Here’s a look at the whole study.

Another recent study, out of the University of Illinois at Chicago, used the in-the-works upgrade on the Chicago-St. Louis freight corridor to build a model to examine the possible benefits of running faster passenger trains on routes Amtrak currently shares with freight trains.

Like what you’re reading? Get a browser notification whenever we post a new story. You’re signed-up for browser notifications of new stories. No longer want to be notified? Unsubscribe.

Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Follow Jenn .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tags: chicagotrainsamtrak

×
Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×
×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 1103 other sustainers such as:

  • Marceline at $5/Month
  • Anonymous at $5/Year
  • Brian at $60/Year

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    20th Anniversary Solutions of the Year magazine

has donated ! Thank you 🎉
Donate
×