River Route: Twin Cities to Chicago
Southeastern Minnesota's Mississippi River valley, a natural jewel, and among the most beautiful locations in America, is envisioned as a transportation corridor redefined by high-speed rail trains; the picture of modern comfort, reliability and technological innovation. This proposal would travel from the Twin Cities, including a stop at the revitalized, historic Union Depot in St. Paul through picturesque river towns on its way to Milwaukee and Chicago.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration have designated the Mississippi River Route as the preferred line for the proposed high-speed rail system.
This page is a portal into the details of the project, what work has been completed, and what is yet to come.
- Overview: From Lazy River to Fast Reliable Transportation
- Facts: About Minnesota High-Speed Rail
- Benefits: High-Speed Rail Is Good For The Mississippi River Route
- Project Status: Completed Work, Current Work, Next Steps
- Destinations: A Closer Look at the River Route
River Route Spotlight
Motto: What you need when you need it.
Lake City, located on the Lake Pepin, the widest point of the Mississippi River, is known as the birthplace of waterskiing and is a popular recreation and tourist destination in both summer and winter. The city hosts a huge, multi-day celebration, Water Ski Days, each June.
Lake City is home to a variety of businesses and industry including Hearth and Home Technologies, the largest manufacturing plant of gas fireplaces in the world. Another prominent business is Valley Craft, which manufactures hand trucks, carts, trailers and storage equipment.
View a spotlight of some of the great destinations along the proposed River Route.
View spotlights of Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission counties.
Summertime is filled with activity along the Mississippi River Route. Check out this guide with helpful links to summer festivals and events.
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High-Speed Rail Fast Facts
- Connects the Twin Cities, Wisconsin Dells, Milwaukee and Chicago
- Follows the Mississippi River between the Twin Cities and La Crescent
- Stations in the Twin Cities, Red Wing, Winona
- Connections available at each station, for instance city buses, Jefferson Lines buses and light-rail at Union Depot, St. Paul
- Speeds of 90 – 110 miles per hour
- 5.5 hour travel time (2.5 hour reduction)
- 6 – 8 daily round trips
- Projected 1.7 million trips annually by 2030
- Costs less to build than a lane of highway in each direction
Fact Sheet Downloads
Have more questions about MN High-Speed Rail? Check out these helpful fact sheets to learn more.