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Ride Amtrak Borealis Trains starting Tuesday, May 21

Ride Amtrak Borealis Trains starting Tuesday, May 21

The Great River Rail Commission is excited to share details for Amtrak Borealis trains that will begin daily, round-trip service on May 21 and run from Union Depot in Saint Paul to Union Station in Chicago, doubling the capacity for rail travel between the two cities. Amtrak Borealis trains will make additional Minnesota-area stops in Red Wing, Winona, and La Crosse.

Events being planned

Throughout the planning process, business leaders at each stop have been collaborating on advocacy and promotion of the new service, culminating in celebratory rides on May 21, as well as commemorative events at each stop. The inaugural event in Saint Paul will be held in the Union Depot Waiting Room and affords participants the opportunity to explore the train cars, as well as hear remarks from Federal and State dignitaries.


Learn more, buy tickets

Read Amtrak’s media release for further details about the service and ticket information.

Reaction from the Great River Rail Commission

Statement from Ramsey County Commissioner Trista Martinson, chair of the Great River Rail Commission 

“We are delighted by the announcement that Amtrak Borealis trains will start running on May 21. Borealis will double the opportunity for passenger rail transportation between the Twin Cities and Chicago, providing another safe, reliable, relaxing, affordable climate friendly alternative to driving or flying. Our communities along the Mississippi River Route will benefit from job creation and economic development, and the trains will bring college students, event attendees and tourists to Minnesota. It’s hard not to be excited about an environmentally sound means of travel that provides an accessible travel alternative in areas that are dependent on automobile transport. We would like to thank those who have supported these efforts and encourage everyone to give Borealis trains a try.”

Statement from Winona County Commissioner Chris Meyer, vice chair of the Great River Rail Commission (not speaking for the Winona County Board)

“Support for expanded passenger rail service between the Twin Cities and Chicago has been led for many years by advocates from the Winona area. The first chair of what is now the Great River Rail Commission was Jerry Miller. Our legislators, especially Sen. Jeremy Miller and Rep. Gene Pelowski, were instrumental in securing funding for the train, as were many others. And many, many residents, business leaders and local elected officials from Winona and throughout southeastern Minnesota spent countless hours providing information about the benefits of passenger rail to anyone who would listen. It is so gratifying to learn that the hard work and passion of so many has finally led us to the beginning of Amtrak Borealis trains. I am personally looking forward to many trips to the many great destinations this train will serve, and I am looking forward to seeing many visitors from throughout the corridor taking in the many events and opportunities that this part of Minnesota has to offer.” 

More information

Amtrak Borealis trains will consist of four Horizon class passenger cars with one cafe car and a locomotive. The Great River Rail Commission’s website will soon feature more information about the service, including amenities, ticket prices, destinations and more. 

About the Great River Rail Commission

The Great River Rail Commission is made up of elected officials representing 18 local and regional governments from Saint Paul to La Crosse, who advocate for safer, more frequent passenger rail service between the Twin Cities and Chicago. 

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