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


Population: 22,424

Hastings is named for the first elected governor of Minnesota, Henry Hastings Sibley. The city is near the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers and is close to a source of hydropower at the falls of the Vermillion River. Hastings is also close to two downhill ski areas and is home to several parks and an 18-hole disc golf course. The Leduc Historic Estate is another historic attraction that offers several events and tours.

Hastings hosts Rivertown Days in July, which provides a variety of activities for all ages including parades, a carnival, photography contests, and much more.

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



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