Amtrak Borealis trains to begin expanded service with Winona stops May 21

Visit Winona Amtrak

Introducing Amtrak Borealis trains with Expanded Service between St. Paul and Chicago via Milwaukee

New passenger train arrivals and departures in a partnership with Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois

Tickets are now available for a second daily Amtrak service between the Twin Cities and Chicago, via Milwaukee: New state-sponsored Borealis trains originate from St. Paul at midday and from Chicago in the late morning. Travelers seeking a more comfortable, sustainable and productive choice than driving will have double the current rail options, starting May 21, 2024.

Amtrak Borealis coach fares start at $41 each way between St. Paul and Chicago for adults, with everyday discounts for children ages 2-12, students, seniors, veterans, military personnel and families, groups, and others.

Amtrak Borealis trains will offer Coach and Business Class in addition to a café car featuring regional items. Customers will enjoy wide reclining seats with ample legroom, no middle seats, free Wi-Fi, and views of the Mississippi River between St. Paul and Winona, Minnesota, in daylight in both directions across Wisconsin.

The trains will make the current Empire Builder stops between St. Paul and Milwaukee and Hiawatha stops between Milwaukee and Chicago (see schedule). Another benefit of the Amtrak Borealis service is a new eastbound Amtrak origination from Ramsey County’s Union Depot in St. Paul.

“A second daily passenger rail service connecting St. Paul to Chicago via Milwaukee is a welcome addition to our transportation system, providing more choices and travel flexibility for passengers,” said Commissioner Nancy Daubenberger, Minnesota Department of Transportation. “We appreciate our partnerships with communities, federal, state and local governments, the host railroad CPKC, and Amtrak that were needed to get this service on-track, and to provide another safe, reliable transportation option. We look forward to continuing these partnerships as we work toward further building out passenger rail options in the Midwest.”

“This route includes eight stations in Wisconsin, and doubling the frequency of the service will better connect the many businesses, universities and tourist attractions along this corridor,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “This expansion is thanks to the work WisDOT was able to do together with Minnesota, Illinois and Amtrak, as well as the opportunities provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. We will continue to work with federal and state partners to explore more passenger rail options in Wisconsin.”

“We are proud to collaborate with neighboring states and our federal partners to offer more Amtrak service in the Midwest,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Ensuring passenger rail that’s safe, reliable and accessible is one of the many reasons Illinois continues to distinguish itself as the transportation hub of North America under Gov. JB Pritzker.”

The new service is sponsored by the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Amtrak now operates 29 state-supported routes with 18 state partners.

“Through the Federal Railroad Administration’s Corridor Identification Program we are working with grantees on dozens of other possible new Amtrak routes,” said President Roger Harris. “Thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, interest from state transportation departments and others for new or expanded Amtrak service across the country is at an all-time high.”

“This is a win for passenger rail expansion in America, and more importantly, it’s a win for a growing number of Americans who rely on passenger rail and benefit from it,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Amit Bose. “Investments in rail have long helped Midwesterners and the region’s economy, and this new service will mean additional access for people traveling between Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois while contributing to economic growth.

“The Federal Railroad Administration applauds the strong partnership between the states and Amtrak, and through President Biden’s infrastructure package, we know even more progress is underway,” Bose added.