September 21, 2022 – For those of you not on WisDOT’s e-mailing list for updates, the information below was blasted out on September 19. We’re all waiting for more information on exact dates and locations.

Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago (TCMC) Intercity Passenger Rail Project

The Design Phase of the Twin Cities – Milwaukee – Chicago Rail (TCMC) Project has Begun!

We wanted to give you a heads up for the upcoming public involvement meetings that will be scheduled in late October or early November so you can view the design plans and offer input for the Twin Cities – Milwaukee – Chicago (TCMC) project. The project will add a second, daily round-trip passenger rail service to the 411-mile corridor used by Amtrak’s long-distance Empire Builder route between Milwaukee and Saint Paul.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), in coordination with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), has initiated the final design phase of the Twin Cities – Milwaukee – Chicago (TCMC) project.

The design phase will include the development of detailed plans for the improvement areas and will provide opportunities for local governments, agencies, stakeholders, and the public to provide input on those plans. This final design phase is expected to be complete in Summer 2023 with construction running from late 2023 into 2025. The additional train service is expected to start in 2024, or earlier.

The design phase follows a robust planning and environmental study that determined improvements to rail infrastructure so the corridor can handle freight and increased passenger traffic. The project has secured $53 million in federal, state, and Amtrak funding to allow the design and construction of tracks, signals, and railroad crossing improvements in La Crosse, Wis., La Crescent, Minn., and Winona, Minn. The existing stops and train platforms along the corridor will be used for the TCMC service.

Public Involvement Meetings showing the design plans will be held in late October or early November 2022. A second virtual public meeting is expected in 2023 prior to construction. In addition to public meetings, the project team will conduct meetings with stakeholders, local officials, and property owners as needed throughout the design phase. Meeting invitations will be emailed as well as periodic project updates.

For additional information about the TCMC Project please visit the WisDOT and MnDOT project webpages.

To provide comments about the TCMC Project please use this comment form.

Thank you.