Beginning June 1, Amtrak and its partner state transportation departments will restore a Hiawatha Service round-trip between Milwaukee and Chicago in response to anticipated increased demand.
Hiawatha Trains 332 and 339, and continued service by Amtrak Empire Builder Trains 7/27 and 8/28 at all Hiawatha stops will together offer morning and afternoon departures daily on Amtrak’s most popular corridor. Additional Hiawatha round-trips are planned to begin on June 29, with morning, afternoon and evening departures by Trains 330, 332, 338, and 342 from Milwaukee and Trains 329, 331, 337, and 339 from Chicago. The Peak Fare Surcharge is suspended. Trains 329 and 330 will operate only on weekdays, all other trains daily.
Amtrak pledged to continue taking extra steps to keep train travel safe, including limited bookings to less than 50% of capacity to maintain physical distancing onboard trains. Reservations are temporarily required for all Amtrak trains in this corridor, excluding holders of Multi-Ride Tickets.
“We are dedicated to doing everything possible to return service safely. We want everyone to feel comfortable as they navigate this new normal,” said Bill Flynn Amtrak President and CEO.
In addition to aggressive steps to disinfect stations and trains, additional Amtrak measures include the following:
- Facial coverings: As part of Amtrak’s ongoing commitment to protect customers and front-line employees in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Amtrak is requiring that all customers in stations, on trains and Thruway Buses wear facial coverings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of simple cloth facial coverings or masks to slow the spread of the virus and prevent transmission.
- Cashless service: As an added measure to ensure the health and safety of riders and employees, Amtrak will temporarily accept only cashless payments in stations and on trains.
- Physical distancing: Signage has been displayed at the busiest stations to indicate safe distances in high customer traffic areas such as waiting rooms, ticket offices, escalators, and lounge entrances. In addition, clear protective barriers have been installed at stations where there were no current glass barriers.
Train 332 departs Milwaukee at 8:05 a.m. and Train 339 departs Chicago at 5:08 p.m. The Amtrak Thruway Bus that has been providing substitute transportation on the corridor since April 24 will be replaced by these trains on June 1. Trains 7/27 and 8/28 are scheduled to depart Milwaukee and Chicago respectively at 2:15 p.m. Tickets and schedules are available on Amtrak.com and through the Amtrak app.
While some services are reduced or suspended, Amtrak is an essential service as our nation recovers. A typical weekday service level on this corridor is seven Hiawatha Service round-trips, in addition to the Empire Builder. More Hiawatha trains will be restored to service as driven by demand, working with the Wisconsin and Illinois state transportation departments. Amtrak continues to evaluate practices and pilot new opportunities to support personal safety.