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Rail Passengers Applauds New Twin Cities-Chicago Round Trip

May 1, 2024

For Immediate Release (24-4)
Contact: M. Ned Butler ([email protected])


Washington, D.C. – The Rail Passengers Association today congratulated Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the hundreds of passenger-rail advocates who have worked for many years to realize this exciting second round trip between Chicago and the Twin Cities.

Amtrak confirmed today that beginning on May 21, passengers will be able to choose a second round trip between Chicago and the Twin Cities in either Coach or Business aboard Amtrak’s new Borealis service, with fares starting at $41 each way and a new eastbound origination from Ramsey County’s Union Depot in St. Paul.

“There were years when it seemed as if today’s announcement would never take place, and yet here we are today celebrating a new round trip that will transform transportation in this busy corridor,” said Jim Mathews, Rail Passengers’ President & CEO. “Passenger trains mean trips that are taken off of highways and out of the sky, saving lives, limiting pollution, and opening up new possibilities. These new trains also mean new trips that would not have otherwise taken place at all, producing direct returns for the communities they serve.”

The Association produced an economic-benefits analysis in 2019 suggesting that some 60% of passengers for the new service would come from diverting automotive trips as those passengers leave their cars behind, limiting pollution, and easing congestion. The Association estimated that 90,000 people who would otherwise use personal automobiles would be taken off the roads every year, saving $32 million across the region in highway maintenance costs alone.

Overall, the Association estimates that by diverting thousands of car trips and inducing new travel and spending that would not otherwise take place, a new, second daily train between Chicago and the Twin Cities could generate total annual economic returns in the range of eight- to ten-times the annual net spending to support the service.


About Rail Passengers Association

The Rail Passengers Association is the oldest and largest national organization serving as a voice for the more than 40 million rail passengers in the U.S. Our mission is to improve and expand conventional intercity and regional passenger train services, support higher speed rail initiatives, increase connectivity among all forms of transportation, and ensure safety for our country's trains and passengers. All of this makes communities safer, more accessible, and more productive, improving the lives of everyone who lives, works, and plays in towns all across America.