River Route

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.

River Route Spotlight

St. Paul

Population: 297,640

Nickname: Saintly City, Pig's Eye

Motto: The Most Livable City in America

Saint Paul is the capital of the state of Minnesota and home to the Xcel Energy Center, the Science Museum of Minnesota and is the second most populous city in the state. The city has a rich history and is home to a mix of historic architecture and cutting edge businesses.

A variety of festivals happen every year in Saint Paul including the Minnesota State Fair, Grand Old Days, the Irish Fair of Minnesota and the free summer concert series Music in Mears. The biggest festival is the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, which has been running since 1886 and celebrates winter with an amazing assortment of great events.

Read more.


City Spotlights

View a spotlight of some of the great destinations along the proposed River Route.

Cottage Grove



Lake City

Red Wing

St. Charles

Saint Paul

Saint Paul Park



County Spotlights

View spotlights of Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission counties.

Dakota County

Ramsey County

Wabasha County

Winona County

Summer Events

Summertime is filled with activity along the Mississippi River Route. Check out this guide with helpful links to summer festivals and events.

Summer River Route Events

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High-Speed Rail Fast Facts

Fact Sheet Downloads

Have more questions about MN High-Speed Rail? Check out these helpful fact sheets to learn more.

Fact Sheet: About Minnesota High-Speed Rail

Frequently Asked Questions