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Minnesota's Walz includes second Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago train in bonding proposal

It will cost about $53 million to add a second round-trip train between St. Paul and Chicago.
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Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Feb. 22 released a $518 million capital investment bonding proposal that includes $10 million for a second Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago (TCMC) train, the Great River Rail Commission  announced this week.

The funds would provide a local match for a $32 million federal grant awarded last year, commission officials said in a press release. 

It will cost about $53 million to add a second round-trip passenger train between Saint Paul and Chicago, which would complement the existing Amtrak Empire Builder service, they said.

Most of those dollars are committed, as a result of support from the federal government, Amtrak and the state of Wisconsin. What’s missing is Minnesota’s contribution of $10 million, commission officials said.  

Minnesota’s $10 million would not only leverage the federal grant, it would leverage $40 million in track and signal improvements in southeastern Minnesota, adding capacity for both passenger and freight trains, they said.

The proposed service would use existing tracks, log about 124,000 trips annually and serve 13 stations, including ones in Saint Paul, Red Wing and Winona, Minnesota. 

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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