TCMC Second Train

Twin Cities - Milwaukee - Chicago

More than 10 million trips are taken annually between the Twin Cities and Chicago, including air, train and car travel. More than 100,000 of those trips are on Amtrak’s Empire Builder, a passenger train that runs from the west coast through the Twin Cities on its way to Chicago, and back.

Amtrak Empire Builder Train

The Twin Cities – Milwaukee – Chicago (TCMC) Second Train is a proposal to add a daily round-trip passenger train to the Twin Cities to Chicago route. The project seeks to improve mobility and increase travel options between Minnesota and Illinois, while minimizing capital investment. The trains would operate at current conventional speeds (79 mph) and follow the existing route between Chicago Union Station and Union Depot in Saint Paul.

A 2015 Amtrak feasibility study estimated 155,000 additional annual trips on the TCMC. And why not? There are many benefits to adding this transportation alternative:

Under the guidance of the Federal Railroad Administration, the Minnesota and Wisconsin departments of transportation are completing a detailed study of the service in two phases. Phase 1 is ongoing and evaluates alternatives for track and infrastructure improvements along with anticipated costs. Phase 2 will complete environmental analysis and generate a service development plan.

The Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission is a strong advocate of the TCMC Second Train. It’s a first step towards a vision of faster, expanded service along the same route.

To begin service, the project needs funding; planning; potentially some safety, track, and station improvements; and at least one train set.

Public Engagement

MnDOT held two public engagement meetings on the TCMC Second Train project in September 2017. Meetings in La Crosse, WI and St. Paul, MN were well attended and materials from those presentation can be found on the MnDOT Public Engagement website. You can also view the presentation from the St. Paul meeting below. Comments and questions can be submitted to MnDOT via their online form.


MnDOT’s TCMC web page

Get Involved – You can play a role in the future of passenger train travel in Minnesota

Read the full Second Train Feasibility Study Report

Read the Second Train Feasibility executive summary and recommendations

Fact Sheet: TCMC Second Train


Join Us

Make Your Voice Heard, click here to:

Get Involved

Share Your Story

Click for printable pdf Get Involved packet.

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