Amtrak expands Midwest service. Tickets start at $41

by Alice

Amtrak is set to enhance its service in the Midwest, introducing a new train route between the Twin Cities and Chicago later this month.

Scheduled to commence operations on May 21, the newly introduced Amtrak Borealis train will offer afternoon departures from St. Paul and late morning departures from Chicago. This expansion will provide a supplementary daily travel option between the two major urban centers.


Fares for coach seats on this route will commence at an affordable $41.


Nancy Daubenberger, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, expressed enthusiasm about the addition, stating, “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.” Daubenberger emphasized the significance of offering another safe and reliable transportation alternative.


Upon its launch, the Borealis train will make stops at existing stations on the Empire Builder line between St. Paul and Milwaukee, as well as stations on the Hiawatha line between Milwaukee and Chicago, as outlined by Amtrak. The service will include multiple stops in Wisconsin, including the popular tourist destination, Wisconsin Dells.

The entire journey is expected to last approximately 7 hours and 30 minutes.

Each Borealis train will offer both coach and business class seating options, along with a cafe car featuring regional culinary offerings and picturesque views of the Mississippi River between St. Paul and La Crosse, Wisconsin. Notably, the introduction of this service has been sponsored by the states it traverses: Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois, as confirmed by Amtrak.

Federal Railroad Administrator Amit Bose lauded the development, stating, “This is a win for passenger rail expansion in America, and more importantly, it’s a win for a growing number of Americans who rely on passenger rail and benefit from it.” Bose emphasized the historical significance of rail investments in bolstering the Midwestern economy, highlighting the additional accessibility this new service will provide for travelers between Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois, thereby contributing to regional economic growth.

Furthermore, Amtrak’s recent increase in speed limits along the Chicago to St. Louis corridor, reaching speeds of up to 110 mph, promises swift onward journeys for passengers departing from Chicago.



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