The Federal Railroad Administration has granted $31.8 million toward capital improvements that will help make a Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago second train a reality, the Great River Rail Commission announced Wednesday.
This grant comes after years of advocacy for expanded passenger rail in the Mississippi River Route.
According to a release by the commission, the award reflects the federal government’s confidence in the second train, which is expected to increase passenger service by 124,000 trips annually, create jobs and generate economic growth in the corridor and broader Minnesota.
“We thank the members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation for their continued support of this important project, the FRA for this award, and the hard work of the departments of transportation in Minnesota and Wisconsin as project managers,” the commission said in the release.
Other commitments to the second train include a federal grant for startup operations amounting to $12,569 million and commitments from Wisconsin and Amtrak totaling approximately $11.2 million.
One major potential contributor is missing, the commission noted.
“The only funding partner missing is the state of Minnesota,” the Great River Rail Commission said. “We renew our call on the Minnesota Legislature to pass a bonding bill with a $10 million appropriation for capital improvements that would fully fund the TCMC second train.”