Muskego Yard Freight Rail Bypass Project

​​​​​​The Muskego Yard Freight Rail Bypass Project is an improvement project that will update and reconfigure existing rail and yard facilities along the Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) railroad corridor in Milwaukee. ​


The Muskego Yard Freight Rail Bypass Project is one of t​he infrastructure projects needed to prepare the corridor for additional round-trips between Milwaukee and Chicago by the Amtrak Hiawatha Service. The Hiawatha is one of the busiest Amtrak routes in the nation and the busiest routes in the Midwest, setting a record in 2019 of more than 880,000 passengers. This service i​s critical to the economic growth in the region. The Hiawatha also provides connections to seven other Midwest regional state-supported intercity passenger routes.

The project will improve signal, track and structure upgrades resulting in:

  • Improved freight and passenger rail operations by increasing yard capacity and the number of dedicated through tracks
  • Improved safety by removing the majority of freight traffic through the Milwaukee Intermodal Station (MIS)
  • Improved safety and fewer delays for cars, bus, bicycle and pedestrian traffic by routing freight rail traffic to grade separated crossings
  • Decreased cost by improving travel times for freight trains
  • Facilitates additional passenger rail trains by freeing up rail capacity through MIS


This project will:

  • ​Create a new double-track mainline through Muskego yard that will become the primary route for freight traffic traveling though Milwaukee
  • Install a Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) system to allow signals to automatically change in response to track occupancy and remote control.
  • Rehabilitate the 100+ year-old structure across Burnham Canal and the Menomonee Valley River to accommodate higher loading capacity and speed.

Project locationMuskego project map

The project is in the Menomonee Valley, south of I-94 and east of I-94/I-43. The project limits begin west of Muskego Yard at milepost (MP) 88.4 at the Grand Avenue railroad control point (CP Grand) on the Watertown Subdivision and end east of Muskego Yard at MP 83.4 at the Kinnickinnic River Bridge railroad control point (CP KK Bridge) on the Chicago & Milwaukee Subdivision. See map on right.​

Right of way needs

Limited right of way purchases are anticipated for this project along the CPKC property. Property owners will be contacted, if needed.


  • Environmental clearance and preliminary engineering completed June 2023
  • Final design - TBD (Expected 2025 - dependent on funding)​
  • Construction - TBD

​This project is currently securing funding for final design and construction.​

Public involvement

To slow the spread of COVID-19, WisDOT is posting the informational presentation online. Residents, property, and business owners within the project limits have been mailed a postcard, alerting them to the availability of online materials, the deadline for comment, and contact information for project staff. These materials may be accessed below:​


Rich Kedzior
Passenger Rail Program Manager
Railroads and​ Harbors Section, WisDOT
(608) 266-7094