June 25, 2021

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Department of Transportation plans train expansion

EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) – Railways through both Minnesota and Wisconsin will undergo large expansions in the next two years.

The Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago Passenger Rail Project (TCMC) will cover 411 miles from St. Paul to Chicago, a total of 13 different stops.

The project includes two daily round trip passenger rail services along Amtrak’s Empire Builder and Hiawatha routes.

Final designs will be submitted in 2022 and construction will take place in 2023 and 2024.

Arun Rao, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s passenger rail manager, feels passengers will be impressed with the new expansion project.

“The project improves a heavily used, existing passenger rail corridor going through Wisconsin by doubling the existing rail service alongside the Amtrak Empire Builder route from one round trip daily to two,” Rao said. “The new round trip has greater on time performance.”

The total cost of capital for the project is $53 million. To help pay for it, Wisconsin received a $31.8 million federal grant from the Federal Railroad Association.

As for the remaining cost, Amtrak will pay $5 million, Minnesota will pay $10 million, and Wisconsin will pay $6 million.

You can find more detailed plans by clicking/tapping here.