Amtrak announces second daily trip between Twin Cities, Chicago will begin later this month

Travelers who want to sit back and relax while on their way to their destination will soon have another option if they want to move through the Midwest by train.

On Wednesday, Amtrak announced its Borealis train – which will run between St. Paul and Chicago – will begin operating on May 21, 2024.

Trips will take about seven and a half hours, with trips starting at St. Paul’s Union Depot shortly before 12 p.m. and Chicago’s Union Station just after 11 a.m.

The train will make the same stops as the Empire Builder does between St. Paul and Milwaukee, as well as the Hiawatha between Milwaukee and Chicago.

The Empire Builder was previously the only Amtrak service from the Twin Cities to Chicago, but also travels to the Pacific Northwest, with stops in Seattle and Portland.

As reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS last year, there haven’t been two trains from the Twin Cities to Chicago since 1981.

Minnesota and Wisconsin transportation leaders issued statements regarding the second rail service option on Wednesday.

“A second daily passenger rail service connecting St. Paul to Chicago via Milwaukee is a welcome addition to our transportation system, providing more choices and travel flexibility for passengers. We appreciate our partnerships with communities, federal, state and local governments, the host railroad CPKC, and Amtrak that were needed to get this service on-track, and to provide another safer, reliable transportation option. We look forward to continuing these partnerships as we work toward further building out passenger rail options in the Midwest,” said Nancy Daubenberger, the Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

“This route includes eight stations in Wisconsin, and doubling the frequency of the service will better connect the many businesses, universities and tourist attractions along this corridor. This expansion is thanks to the work WisDOT was able to do together with Minnesota, Illinois and Amtrak, as well as the opportunities provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. We will continue to work with federal and state partners to explore more passenger rail options in Wisconsin,” said Craig Thompson, Secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).

Tickets are already available and start at $41 each way between St. Paul and Chicago for adults. Discounts are available for kids, students, seniors, veterans, military members, groups and more. While private rooms aren’t available on the Borealis trains, there are coach and business seats.

CLICK HERE for additional information about the Borealis train.