Amtrak to restore full Milwaukee-Chicago service

The Amtrak Hiawatha train at Milwaukee Intermodal Station. (Courtesy: WisDOT)

Amtrak announced that it will restore its full Hiawatha Service, with 7 daily round-trips between Milwaukee and Chicago, on May 23.

In April of 2020, Amtrak suspended the Hiawatha Service, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and resumed the service in early June, but with fewer daily round-trips.

Ridership on the Hiawatha Service was 882,000 in the 2019 fiscal year (a record for the line), up 4.5% from fiscal 2018, but fell 53.9% in 2020, during the pandemic, to 403,112.

The Hiawatha is the most-traveled Midwest line for Amtrak. The regular weekday schedule of seven round-trips is now available for booking, with an additional Chicago departure on Friday nights; the Saturday schedule of seven departures from Milwaukee and six from Chicago; and the Sunday schedule of six round-trips, Amtrak said.

In addition, service is being restored for two daily round-trip Amtrak Thruway Buses between Green Bay and Milwaukee, with stops in De Pere, Appleton, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac.

Reservations will be required, Amtrak said, which is done automatically during purchases of one-way or round-trip tickets online or at ticketing kiosks at train stations. Customers are encouraged to use the capacity indicator at the time of booking, showing each train’s seating availability, Amtrak said.

To simplify and safeguard the travel experience, several cleaning, contact-free and convenience measures have been implemented, Amtrak said, including:

  • Face coverings: Per federal law and Amtrak policy, all customers and employees must wear a face mask or covering that fully covers the entire mouth and nose, fits snugly against the side of the face, and secures under the chin at all times while onboard and in stations.
  • Air Quality: All trains are equipped with onboard filtration systems with a fresh air exchange rate every 4-5 minutes.
  • Physical distancing: Signage has been displayed to indicate safe distances in high traffic areas. In addition, protective plastic barriers have been installed at customer counters at our busiest stations.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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