ICYMI: New Borealis trains double service along Twin Cities – Chicago corridor

Eight Wisconsin stations benefit from additional Amtrak trains

Release date: May 6, 2024

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), in partnership with Amtrak and the states of Minnesota and Illinois last week announced that a second daily round trip along the route connecting the Twin Cities to Milwaukee and Chicago will start on May 21, 2024. Officially named Borealis, the additional trains will depart midday from both St. Paul and from Chicago, serving eight Wisconsin stations along the way.

“Borealis will double the options for passenger rail travel along a corridor that connects many businesses, universities, tourism destinations, and Wisconsin communities," WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “Thank you to Minnesota, Illinois, and Amtrak for working together to help meet the demand for passenger rail across our region. This would not be possible without strong partnerships and federal support, and we look forward to the continued exploration of passenger rail options in Wisconsin."

Named for travel to and from the north (in Latin), Borealis trains will make the current Empire Builder stops between St. Paul and Milwaukee and the Hiawatha Service stops between Milwaukee and Chicago. Tickets are on sale now; visit the Amtrak Borealis site. Coach fares start at $41 each way between St. Paul and Chicago, with everyday discounts for children ages 2-12, students, seniors, veterans, military personnel and families, and others.

Whether Coach or Business Class, Borealis offers passengers wide reclining seats with ample legroom, no middle seats, free Wi-Fi, and views of the Mississippi River between St. Paul and La Crosse. The trains' cafe cars feature regional dining and beverages, including food and drink options from each of the partner states.

Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois sponsor the service. Borealis is Minnesota's first state-supported Amtrak service. Amtrak now operates 29 state-supported routes with 18 state partners.

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581, opa.exec@dot.wi.gov