Second Train to Chicago Project Progress Report

Great River Rail - July 9, 2020


July 9, 2020 (Red Wing, Minn.) – Project partners submitted a federal grant request for capital funding for the Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago Second Train project to the Federal Railroad Administration in June. A number of project updates were a part of the submission, as outlined in the attached progress report. The highlights include:


  • Total project cost estimate was revised down to $53 million, just below the low end of the cost range of previous estimates

  • Wisconsin has committed $6.2 million and Amtrak has pledged $5 million as matching funds toward a federal grant to build track and signal improvements

  • The current funding request of $10 million from the Minnesota Legislature would result in $40 million in infrastructure improvements in the state, a 4 to 1 return on investment

  • Canadian Pacific Railway, on whose tracks the train would run, supports the TCMC Second Train

  • A federal grant for startup operations in the amount of $12.569 million was awarded to the TCMC Second Train project on May 5, 2020


About the Great River Rail Commission

The Great River Rail Commission is one of the leading voices on passenger rail in Minnesota. Comprised of officials from 18 local and regional governments from St. Paul to La Crosse, the Commission advocates for the development of the Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago (TCMC) Second Train project, a daily round trip passenger train between the Twin Cities and Chicago. The Commission’s long range vision is that the Second Train demonstrates demand for additional passenger rail service that leads to further investment in faster, more frequent passenger train service.

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