Chicago - Milwaukee Intercity Passenger Rail Corridor - Facts

Environmental Assessment and Service Development Plan

Current Hiawatha Service 

  • Seven daily round-trips, six on Sunday, between Chicago and Milwaukee
  • Regular scheduled travel times between Chicago and Milwaukee from 89 minutes
  • Maximum speed 79 mph

Future Hiawatha Service with planned improvements

  • 10 daily round-trips (including three additional trains) between Chicago and Milwaukee
  • Potentially faster travel times between Chicago and Milwaukee
  • Maximum speed 79 mph or 90 mph (between Rondout, Illinois and General Mitchell International Airport)

Hiawatha Service facts

  • Stations include:
    • Chicago Union (connect to Amtrak system, transit and intercity buses)
    • Glenview, Ill. (connect to local transit)
    • Sturtevant, Wis. (connect to local transit)
    • Milwaukee Airport Rail Station (connect to all flights and ground transportation at General Mitchell International Airport)
    • Milwaukee Intermodal Station (connect to intercity bus and transit)
  • One of the best on-time performance rates in the Amtrak system
  • Financially supported by Wisconsin and Illinois. Operating support split is Wisconsin - 75%, 
    Illinois - 25%
  • 2016 ridership: 815,196; a 2.4% increase over 2015
  • Highest ridership of any Amtrak service outside the east and west coasts

Annual Amtrak Hiawatha Service ridership is shown below*:

Amtrak Hiawatha Ridership









*2014 was the first full year with reported ridership based on Amtrak’s new, more accurate rider counting methodology using actual ticket lifts enabled by implementation of E-ticketing. Previous years' ridership is partially based on an allocation and may be slightly overstated (this can be seen in the adjusted ridership total for 2013, which Amtrak provided to reflect the new methodology for comparison purposes).