Wisconsin-Minnesota passenger rail project gets $31M federal grant

Wisconsin-Minnesota passenger rail project gets $31M federal grant Photo: Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Josh Skluzacek
Updated: September 30, 2020 03:31 PM
Created: September 30, 2020 03:17 PM

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.

"Minnesotans will benefit from the expanded passenger rail service by having access to a safe, reliable and affordable alternative to driving or flying," said Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher. "This project will also help Minnesota create new jobs and generate economic growth in our communities and improve access to higher education facilities along the corridor."

In order to accept the grant, the states and Amtrak have to provide $21.2 million in matching funds. Officials said the grant is the final piece of federal support needed to implement the service.

Planning for the project began back in 2012. The first year of TCMC rail service is expected to begin in 2024.

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