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

USA: The federal government is to provide a $31·8m grant for the Twin Cities – Milwaukee – Chicago Intercity Passenger Rail Project to facilitate the operation of a second daily passenger train each way between St Paul and Chicago by 2024.

The TCMC project will modernise sections of track, upgrade stations and increase capacity and freight speeds, with level crossing enhancements to reduce waiting times for road traffic. This is expected to save $34·7m in freight costs over 30 years.

Passenger services on the 660 km TCMC corridor would depart from St Paul and Chicago in the morning and middle of each day. Ridership is estimated at more than 124 000 people in the first year.

The Federal Railroad Administration ‘is committed to supporting states, local communities, and industry to advance passenger and freight opportunities that grow economies, strengthen supply chains, and improve options for riders’ said FRA Administrator Amit Bose on March 9. ‘The Consolidated Rail Infrastructure & Safety Improvements Grant Program, which made this nearly $32m federal investment possible, is funded at even higher levels over the next five years thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This funding means even more opportunities like this one to advance transformational rail projects going forward.’

Amtrak Chairman & CEO Stephen Gardner said there was not yet a start date for the work, but he hoped it would be a matter of months as the project is backed by local leaders in Wisconsin and Minnesota and Amtrak has a productive relationship with Canadian Pacific.