MINNEAPOLIS — The Great River Rail Commission announced Wednesday that the federal government has awarded a $31.8 million grant to fund capital improvements to make a second Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago train a reality.

“This grant award reflects the confidence of the federal government in the merits of this project which is expected to increase passenger service by 124,000 trips annually, create jobs and generate significant economic growth in the corridor and the state of Minnesota," said Mark Vaughan, chairman of the GRRC.

The Federal Railroad Administration grant would bring expanded passenger service for the Mississippi River Route.

Vaughan thanked members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation for their continued support of the project, the FRA for the funding and the departments of transportation in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“This grant is the latest in a series of commitments made to the TCMC Second Train," Vaughan said.

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The project has also received a federal grant for startup operations on the project for $12.569 million, a commitment for capital funds from the state of Wisconsin for $6.2 million and another $5 million in capital funds from Amtrak.

"The only funding partner missing is the state of Minnesota," Vaughan 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.”