Great River Rail Commission
For immediate release: September 23, 2020
STATEMENT FROM MARK VAUGHAN, CHAIR - GREAT RIVER RAIL COMMISSION
“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.”