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Thursday, November 24, 2022

Amtrak St Paul To Chicago

How Long Does It Take To Drive

Amtrak Empire Builder St Paul MN to Chicago train ride in a Sleeping car Roomette.

It takes about six hours, 15 minutes to drive between Minneapolis and Chicago, but could take longer depending on traffic conditions and how many stops you make along the way. For the fastest route, take I-94 east from Minneapolis. You can stay on this highway for basically the entire time, but note that I-94 merges with I-90 at about 200 miles into the trip, so you’ll need to keep to the right to stay on I-90.

Is There A Bus That Goes From Minneapolis To Chicago

Direct bus service is available between Minneapolis and Chicago, but it’s a long journey and not particularly cheap, either. Megabus and Greyhound both offer daily trips, with fares usually starting around $50. Bus service is direct between the two cities but takes at least eight hours, 30 minutes and possibly much longer with traffic, so it also uses up an entire day of your travels. Megabus occasionally offers super discounted tickets, sometimes for as low as $5, so definitely take a look in case you can snag one of these unbeatable deals.

What Is There To Do In Chicago

If it’s your first time visiting Chicago, you’ll have to pay a visit to Cloud Gate, aka “the bean” in Millennium Park, as well as Navy Pier, a shopping and dining destination that sits on the Chicago River. For the best views of the city and Lake Michigan, take a trip to the top of the Willis Tower.

If you’re on a budget, there are many ways to explore the city on the cheap, such as renting a bike and riding around or getting a low-cost ticket to watch baseball at Wrigley Field. First-time visitors should also take advantage of Chicago Greeter, a free service that provides complimentary tours to anyone who can show proof that they’re a tourist with booked accommodation in Chicago.

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Union Depot Train Day

Every year in May, the depot hosts a weekend of events named “Train Day” which showcases the history and future of railroad travel. Those in attendance are treated to model train layouts, exhibitors, tours and railroad equipment displays. This event replaced “National Train Day” after Amtrak disbanded the program after 2015.

On April 30 and May 1, 2016, the depot hosted a two-day event titled “Union Depot Train Days” to celebrate the building’s 90th Anniversary. Various displays, vendors, and photographers were featured inside the depot. Outside featured numerous rail equipment, including Milwaukee Road 261 under steam with 4 passenger cars, Amtrak’s Exhibit Train, Twin Cities and Western Railroad locomotive, Great Northern 325, a rare EMD SDP40 and Northern Pacific RPO #1102 from the Minnesota Transportation Museum, and Soo Line FP7a #2500.

On May 6, 2017, featured railroad equipment included Amtrak 42, the Veteran’s locomotive, two Union Pacific locomotives, a TC& W locomotive and GN 325 and NP 1102. NP RPO #1102 had the distinction of being the “Last Mail Train” as Train Day attendees had mail transported inside the car from Union Depot to Osceola, Wisconsin.

When Is The Best Time To Travel To Chicago

2nd daily St. Paul

Famously cold and windy, Chicago is best visited during the spring or fall, particularly in April or September, though if you want to see the river turn green for St. Patrick’s Day, plan a trip for March. While summers in Chicago do get hot, it can be a nice time to visit. However, summer hotel rates tend to be more expensive than at other times of year.

If you want to catch the city in a festive moment, try visiting during the Chicago Auto Show, Gay Pride Parade in June, or the Lollapalooza Music Festival in August. If you plan on spending the holidays in Chicago, there is plenty going on in the city to ring in the season from over-the-top Christmas light displays to the opening of the city’s seasonal ice skating rinks.

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Glacier National Park Montana

Raft, bike, hike, fish or float in the Crown of the Continent. Gaze at awe-inspiring vistas along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Scan the cliffs for mountain goats and big horn sheep or eye the sky for eagles and osprey. Soak in the mist of mountain waterfalls, sleep in a chalet and savor gourmet fare next to a roaring fireplace.

Amtrak Service Stopped West Of St Paul Following Fatal Derailment In Montana

Amtrak services will not not operate west of St. Paul until at least Tuesday following the derailment that killed three people in Montana over the weekend.

At around 4 p.m. Saturday, an Amtrak train was derailed near Joplin, Montana. Eight of the trains ten cars were derailed, and three people of the 141 passengers and 7 crew members were killed, with more than 50 injured.

As a result of the crash, westbound Amtrak Empire Builder trains from Chicago will terminate in St. Paul through Tuesday. No substitute transportation is currently available, according to Amtrak.

Trains will also not operate between Seattle and St. Paul and Portland and St. Paul.

We are in mourning today for the people who lost their lives due to the derailment of the Empire Builder train Saturday, near Joplin, Montana, on the BNSF Railway, as well as the many others who were injured, Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn said in a statement.

We are fully cooperating with the investigation, working closely with National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Railroad Administration, local law enforcement and response agencies.

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The train was carrying about 141 passengers and 16 crew members and had two locomotives and 10 cars, eight of which derailed, Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said.

A 14-member team including investigators and specialists in railroad signals would look into the cause of the derailment on a BNSF Railway main track that involved no other trains or equipment, said NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss.

Law enforcement said the officials from the NTSB, Amtrak and BNSF had arrived at the accident scene just west of Joplin, where the tracks cut through vast, golden brown wheat fields that were recently harvested. Several large cranes were brought to the tracks that run roughly parallel to U.S. Highway 2, along with a truckload of gravel and new railroad ties.

Several rail cars could still be seen on their sides.

The accident scene is about 150 miles northeast of Helena and about 30 miles from the Canadian border.

Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn expressed condolences to those who lost loved ones and said the company is working with the NTSB, Federal Railroad Administration and local law enforcement, sharing their sense of urgency to determine what happened.

“The NTSB will identify the cause or causes of this accident, and Amtrak commits to taking appropriate actions to prevent a similar accident in the future, Flynn said in the statement.

Matt Jones, a BNSF Railway spokesman said at a news conference that the track where the accident occurred was last inspected Thursday.

Restoration And Return Of Passenger Service

Amtrak’s Empire Builder | Superliner Roomette (Chicago to St. Paul)

Area boosters had long hoped that trains would return to the Union Depot, and plans gathered steam as the Blue Linelight rail project in Minneapolis drew toward completion. Planners envisioned the depot being used for a restored Amtrak service along with Metro and Jefferson Lines buses.

A few businesses had occupied the headhouse since the halt of train service in 1971, while the United States Postal Service took over the rear of the building. The concourse and waiting room were used for some postal service activities and storage. After lying dormant for several years in the 1970s, the train tracks were removed from the train deck and it was paved with a flat surface. It began to be used for staging semi-trailer trucks carrying mail to and from the neighboring Downtown St. Paul Central Post Office as well as USPS employee parking. A driveway ramp was sliced into the train deck at the intersection of Kellogg Boulevard and Broadway Street for USPS vehicles. In the early 2000s, the upper levels of the headhouse were converted into 33 2-story loft condominiums.

In 2005, the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority secured funding to renovate the station as an intermodal transit hub served by Amtrak trains, Metro Transit light rail, and intercity bus lines.

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With Help From State Funding Amtrak Will Add Second Daily Route From St Paul To Chicago

A transportation bill signed off this week by Gov. Tim Walz will create a second daily rail service between St. Paul and Chicago.

Gov. Tim Walz signed the Legislatures $7 billion omnibus transportation bill into law Saturday. Among the provisions was $10 million to fund a second daily round-trip Amtrak train between Chicago and St. Pauls Union Depot Station.

Service is expected to start in 2024.

Im proud weve reached bipartisan agreement with the Senate after working to secure strong transportation investments across the state, said House Transportation Committee Chair Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, in a statement after the bill passed the House.

Minnesotans expect us to improve and maintain our transportation system because it keeps us safe, creates good jobs in a time of economic recovery, and gives all people and communities the opportunity to grow and prosper.

The addition adds service to Amtraks Empire Builder line, which travels between Chicago and Seattle and Portland.

The additional train is also supported by $32 million in federal grant funding, $6.2 million from Wisconsin and $5 million from Amtrak, according to the Star Tribune.

The transportation bill received bipartisan support in the Legislature, passing 112-21 in the House and unanimously in the Senate.

Amtrak Proposes Routes From Twin Cities To Duluth Eau Claire Madison

Amtrak’s proposed route system in the upper Midwest. The light blue lines denote new routes if the president’s infrastructure plan were to be passed by congress.

– Amtrak says it could add new routes connecting the Twin Cities to Duluth, Eau Claire, Madison and Chicago if the presidents new infrastructure proposal is passed.

According to the 15-year plan, which the passenger rail provider calls Amtrak Connect US, more than 30 new routes would be created, including the Duluth, Madison and Eau Claire connections.

In Wisconsin, passengers could also Amtrak from Milwaukee to Green Bay in a new route.

Currently, Amtraks Empire Builder line runs from Chicago to the Twin Cities and continues on through North Dakota and Montana before reaching Seattle.

The company anticipates the new routes and upgrades would increase ridership by 20 million. In 2019, 32 million riders took Amtrak trains on routes around the country.

Elsewhere in the country, some major American cities would also receive better Amtrak service. In cities like Houston, Atlanta and Cincinnati, the service is “inadequate”, according to Amtrak. The trains there only stop once a day and often in the middle of the night.

The cities of Las Vegas, Nashville, Columbus and Phoenix currently have no Amtrak service at all.

Both Amtrak and the president are calling on Congress to approve the infrastructure plan before any of these changes can be implemented.

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Light Rail And Bus Rapid Transit

Bus rapid transit has been selected for the Rush Line Corridor between St. Paul and White Bear Lake. The southern terminus of this route is planned to be at St. Paul Union Depot. The Gateway Corridor is also planned to be bus rapid transit and will operate between St. Paul and Woodbury. The Red Rock Corridor has also been proposed as a BRT service and eventually being upgraded to commuter rail, however plans are on hold as ridership on the current bus routes in this corridor are low.

The Riverview Corridor is planned to be a LRT/modern streetcar hybrid operating between St. Paul Union Depot and Mall of America. Riverview Corridor trains would share tracks and stations with the Metro Green Line between Central Station and Union Depot Station.

How Long Is The Train Ride

Second train from St. Paul to Chicago would be popular ...

Taking about eight hours and costing at least $58, the Amtrak train is neither the fastest nor cheapest way to get to Chicago from Minneapolis. However, if you are looking to avoid flying, due to a fear of flying or environmental concerns, it’s a much more comfortable alternative to the bus. You’ll have the option to walk around, eat in the dining car, or even upgrade to the sleeper car, so you can lie down and get some rest along the way. The train also takes a more scenic route along the Mississippi River, so you may be able to enjoy some lovely nature scenes outside the window.

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It’s A Go For Second Daily Train To Chicago From St Paul

By Order Reprint

A yearslong effort to establish a second daily passenger train trip between St. Paul and Chicago received a critical $10 million boost at the Legislature last week, meaning additional service to the Windy City is expected to begin in 2024.

Money from the state part of a $7 billion omnibus transportation bill signed by Gov. Tim Walz on Saturday was the final piece needed to jump-start the additional round-trip service to Chicago’s Union Station.

“This is a major victory,” said Brian Nelson, president of All Aboard Minnesota, a St. Paul-based passenger rail advocacy group.

The fate of the project’s funding wasn’t always ensured as the session dragged on many Republicans at the Capitol have opposed adding more rail service.

But in the end, the measure won bipartisan support with the House approving the broader transportation bill 112 to 21, and the Senate, 67 to zero.

“It was a long, intense, effort,” said Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, who chairs the House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee. “This proposal has been around for many years.”

Minnesota’s infusion leverages a $32 million federal grant awarded in 2020, with Wisconsin kicking in $6.2 million and Amtrak adding another $5 million.

The idea is to supplement existing Amtrak service on the Empire Builder route, which connects Chicago to Seattle or Portland, Ore., through the Union Depot in St. Paul.

Can I Use Public Transportation To Travel From The Airport

From O’Hare International Airport , it’s easy to get to downtown Chicago via the Chicago Transit Authority’s Blue Line. Trains run 24 hours per day and you can connect to other parts of the city. When you arrive at the airport, follow the signs that say “Train to City” and take the pedestrian walkway to the train station. The fare for a one-way ticket is $2.50. If you plan on making use of public transit throughout your trip to Chicago, you may want to purchase a multi-day pass to save some money.

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