Questions soon being accepted for new Twin Cities - Milwaukee - Chicago rail project

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The trek between the Twin Cities, Milwaukee and Chicago is set to become a bit more flexible with a new round-trip passenger rail service being added by 2025, and those who are interested will have the opportunity to offer direct input during public involvement meetings later this year.

The $53 million Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago Intercity Passenger Rail Project aims to add a second daily round-trip passenger train on the 411-mile rail corridor, currently used by Amtrak's long-distance Empire Builder.

According to a Friday, Sept. 23 update from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the design phase is set to begin soon, to allow affected parties to begin making note of ideas, concerns and questions before the public is allowed to ask questions in late-October or early-November.

Map of the proposed passenger rail service, courtesy the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

If implemented as-planned, the project aims to offer more choices and travel flexibility, as there would be morning and mid-day departures from St. Paul and Chicago. The service also is designed to provide dependable, on-time performance for both passenger and freight trains.

For more details, or to submit early questions online, visit the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's website.

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