BizTimes - September 30, 2020

A joint Wisconsin-Minnesota passenger rail project designed to enhance connectivity between the Twin Cities, La Crosse, Milwaukee and Chicago is to receive a $31.8 million federal rail grant, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced. The extension project, formally known as Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago (TCMC) intercity passenger rail service, will add a daily round trip from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Chicago and points in between, including Milwaukee, along the existing Amtrak Empire Builder line that runs all the way to the Pacific Northwest. The TCMC service will be achieved through an extension of one of the Milwaukee-to-Chicago Amtrak Hiawatha service round trips.

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KSTP - September 30, 2020

The Wisconsin-Minnesota Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago (TCMC) Passenger Rail Project will receive a $31.8 million federal grant, authorities announced Wednesday. The project will add an additional daily round-trip between the Twin Cities, La Crosse, Milwaukee and Chicago, as well as stops in between, along an existing long-distance Amtrak Empire Builder route.

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Great River Rail Commission

(651) 266-2790

For immediate release: September 23, 2020


“After years of advocacy for expanded passenger rail in the Mississippi River Route, the Great River Rail Commission is extremely excited that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has announced a $31.8 million grant for capital improvements that will help make the Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago (TCMC) Second Train a reality.

“This grant award reflects the confidence of the federal government in the merits of this project which is expected to increase passenger service by 124,000 trips annually, create jobs and generate significant economic growth in the corridor and the state of Minnesota.

“We thank the members of Minnesota’s Congressional delegation for their continued support of this important project, the FRA for this award, and the hard work of the departments of transportation in Minnesota and Wisconsin as project managers.

“This grant is the latest in a series of commitments made to the TCMC Second Train. Other commitments include:

  • A federal grant for startup operations in the amount of $12.569 million

  • A commitment for capital funds from the state of Wisconsin of $6.2 million

  • A commitment of capital funds from Amtrak of $5 million

“The only funding partner missing is the state of Minnesota. We renew our call on the Minnesota Legislature to pass a bonding bill with a $10 million appropriation for capital improvements that would fully fund the TCMC Second Train.”

Trains Magazine – Effort to launch second Chicago-Twin Cities Amtrak train receives $31.8 million grant

Mass Transit Magazine – CRISI grants to improve infrastructure and safety of nine passenger rail projects

Progressive Railroading – FRA unveils full list of 2020 CRISI grants

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