In a significant development for regional transportation, Wisconsin is set to introduce a new passenger train service in 2024, connecting Chicago to the Twin Cities with several stops in between. This initiative, as reported by Chad Thompson for WKOW, marks a notable expansion in the Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago (TCMC) Intercity Passenger Rail Project.
The new service will traverse the 411-mile corridor between Chicago, Illinois, and the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis in Minnesota. It will follow the route of Amtrak's existing long-distance Empire Builder service, adding a second daily round-trip passenger train. This addition is not just a mere extension but a significant enhancement to the current transportation network, offering increased travel flexibility with both morning and mid-day departures from Chicago and St. Paul.
Wisconsin's strategic location as the central point in this route highlights its importance in the regional transit network. Key stops will include Wisconsin Dells and Portage, with a connection to Madison, enhancing accessibility and convenience for passengers. The service aims to cater to the needs of daily commuters, tourists, and occasional travelers, providing an alternative to road and air travel.
The project is a collaborative effort involving the Federal Railroad Administration, state Departments of Transportation, host railroads, and Amtrak. This partnership underscores the commitment to improving transportation infrastructure and services in the region.
The official name of the train service will be announced closer to its launch in 2024. This development is eagerly anticipated by residents and travelers alike, as it promises to offer a new, convenient mode of travel through some of the Midwest's most significant urban centers.
As the project progresses towards its completion, it stands as a testament to the ongoing efforts to enhance regional connectivity and mobility. The introduction of this new train service is not just a boon for Wisconsin but also a significant step forward for the broader region, promising to bring cities closer and make travel more accessible and enjoyable for all.