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
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.
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.