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

Winona County

Population: 5,005

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.



City Spotlights

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

Cottage Grove


Lake City

Red Wing

Saint Paul



County Spotlights

View spotlights of Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission counties.

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

Join Us

Sign up and get the latest information on the MN High-Speed Rail Project.
Join Email List

Like the Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission on Facebook

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