Intercity rail project through Wisconsin, Minnesota, & Illinois entering final design stages

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – A big three-state railway project is reaching the final design stages.

Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois Departments of Transportation, along with Amtrak, are working on adding another round-trip rail service.

The service goes from the Twin Cities to Chicago, making stops at stations along the way.

Construction is set to begin next year.

Crews will be improving railway crossing infrastructure and adding a second rail line so freight trains and passenger trains can pass by each other.

Lisa Stern, the Chief of WisDOT Rails and Harbors, says the calls for better rail service are growing.

“I think in the passenger rail industry, we do see a lot of demand, especially with the younger generations,” said Stern. “They’re really looking for this type of transportation and it provides alternate choice.”

Construction is expected to last into 2024, but the second round-trip service might be added sooner.

WisDOT and MnDOT are still taking public input about the project. You can find submission links on the WisDOT and MnDOT websites.