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Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago Intercity Passenger Rail Service
The Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago Intercity Passenger Rail Service project seeks to implement a second daily round trip passenger train on the Empire Builder route to improve mobility and increase reliable travel options between Minnesota and Illinois, while minimizing capital investment. Ramsey County, the state of Wisconsin, La Crosse Area Planning Committee and Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission are funding this phase of work.
Twin Cities to Milwaukee Tier I EIS, Ongoing
The Federal Railroad Administration in cooperation with MnDOT is preparing a Tier 1 Service Level Environmental Impact Statement for improved passenger rail service from the Twin Cities to Milwaukee. The proposed improvements will help complete the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative vision for developing an improved and expanded passenger rail system in the Midwest. The proposed service would link to existing Amtrak®Hiawatha service between Milwaukee and Chicago.
Minnesota Statewide Rail Plan, 2015
The Statewide Rail Plan guides the future of both freight and passenger (intercity) rail systems and rail services in the state. The development of the plan was jointly undertaken by MnDOT’s Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations and Passenger Rail Office.
Feasibility Report on Proposed Amtrak Service Chicago-Milwaukee-La Crosse-Twin Cities-(St. Cloud), 2015
Amtrak® prepared a feasibility study for adding a second daily intercity passenger train between the Twin Cities (or St. Cloud, Minnesota) and Chicago, Illinois. The proposed service would generally follow the existing Empire Builder route through Illinois and Wisconsin, but would terminate at Union Depot in Saint Paul. A second daily train would offer more options to travelers in the corridor by providing better eastbound reliability and increased train frequency. The study included the development of high level, order-of-magnitude assessments of schedules, ridership, revenue, infrastructure investments, operating costs and equipment needs (railcars and locomotives). The recommendations include continued study of the service between Union Depot in St. Paul and Union Station in Chicago.
East Metro Rail Capacity Study, 2012
The East Metro Rail Capacity Study (PDF) identified rail capacity improvements to the freight rail network owned by BNSF Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, Union Pacific Railroad and the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority between Hastings and Union Depot in Saint Paul. Improvements provided capacity to account for 36% growth in freight traffic and additional passenger rail service.