Amtrak's Sturtevant Depot (Station) SVT
Amtrak's Sturtevant Depot

The Amtrak Sturtevant Depot: All You Need To Know

For many people in Southeast Wisconsin, the Sturtevant Depot is the gateway to the Amtrak system and a few airports! In some cases, this station allows you to save money on parking when you fly.

My first Amtrak adventure started at the Sturtevant Depot, so this place has a soft spot in my travel heart. Thus, I wrote a whole article dedicated to it. Most of my trips, regardless of the transportation type, start here.

Front of SVT
A street view of the Sturtevant Station

Editorial note: I use the terms depot and station interchangeably in this article; both conductors and riders use both terms. The information was accurate at the time of publishing, but the info can change at any time.

A Little Video On The Sturtevant Depot

The Village of Sturtevant (WI) built the depot in the Renaissance Business Park. The new 2006 depot is a mile north by rail of the original 1901 Milwaukee Road depot.

On August 14, 2006,  the new depot opened with ADA-compliant facilities, improved safety, and more parking. The new depot kept the trademark Victorian-inspired octagon tower complete and the decorative brackets of the former depot’s design.

The original Milwaukee Road Depot resides in a park in Caledonia, WI.

Where To Find The Sturtevant Depot

The Sturtevant Depot Location

9900 East Exploration Court
Sturtevant, WI 53177-1764

Fun Depot Facts

  • Amtrak station code: SVT
  • Annual station revenue FY 2023 $$992,566*
  • Annual station ridership FY 2023 47,266*
  • Official station webpage
  • The Village of Sturtevant owns and maintains the station and parking lot.
  • Canadian Pacific Kansas City Southern/Soo Line owns the tracks and platform.
  • The first Amtrak station Kev used!

The trains that use the Sturtevant Depot

The Hiawatha and the Borealis serve this depot and run 14 daily Trains (Monday-Saturday), 7 in each direction; on Sunday, trains 329 and 330 do not run.

The Hiawatha travels between Chicago and Milwaukee.

The Borealis travels between Chicago and St Paul, MN.

The Empire Builder passes through but does not serve this depot. To catch the Empire Builder, take the Hiawatha to Milwaukee or Chicago.

Dad at SVT
My dad is waiting for his train to stop to start his next adventure.

Services You Can & Cannot Find At The Sturtevant Depot

Not all train stations offer the same amenities. Since Sturtevant is unstaffed, it offers fewer services than Milwaukee and Chicago.

Services The Sturtevant Depot Does NOT Offer

  • Checked bag service
  • Ticket agent
  • Wifi
  • Coffee and snacks

Train Services Offer From This Depot

  • You can check golf bags (fee and policy)
    • Check when booking; space could be limited.
  • Carry on pets (fee and procedure)
    • Check when booking; space could be limited.
  • A Quik-Trak machine to purchase tickets
  • Conductors provided trackside assistance to help you get on and off the train.
  • Short and long-term parking
A trackside view of the Sturtevant Depot
A trackside view of the Sturtevant Depot

Amenities of the Sturtevant Depot

  • ADA compliant
  • The depot is climate-controlled.
  • Benches are available in and outside the depot
  • Trackside outdoor seating and shelters are available
  • Vending machines for soft drinks and snacks
  • Bubblers, aka drinking fountains
  • Bathrooms
  • The bridge and towers help passengers to get safely over the tracks below.
    • The towers are climate-controlled, with both stairs and elevators.
  • Payphone, no, really, there are some there!

Sturtevant Depot Parking

In 2024, parking at the depot was flat at $7 per visit.

You can park in that lot for up to 30 days for $7. If you plan to use this station often, the Village of Sturtevant offers monthly, six-month, and yearly parking passes.

As you pull towards the long-term parking lot, you will see two kiosks where you can pay for parking. They take cards and cash.

How To Pay For Parking At The Sturtevant Depot

  1. Hit the top button on the right panel; the “Make Selection To Park” is a silver button with a blue ring to light.
  2. Pay with cash or card.
    • The machine does not take coins for cash but bills from $1 to $20 denominations. It does not give change.
    • For cards, the machine accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover, debit, and credit cards. When “dipping” your card in the machine, you have the strip up and to the left.
  3. A receipt will pop out, and the gate will rise; you can pick whatever spot makes you happy or at least is available.
The parking machine at the Sturtevant Depot.
The parking machine at the Sturtevant Depot

I tend to put the recipe in the window, but I do not think that is mandatory.

Before your train arrives in Sturtevant

Typically, the northbound train uses Track One, which is farther from the stations (you must go up and over the bridge). The southbound train often uses Track 2 (closest to the station). But the Hiawatha can come in on either track, depending on how CPKS Railroad dispatches the train.

Siemens SC-44
A Siemens SC-44 Charger on Amtrak’s Hiawatha during a Sturtevant Depot stop.

Conductors will make several announcements over the depot’s PA system to alert passengers waiting how far away the train is and what track it is arriving on when it stops. Ensure you keep your ears open and headphones out close to the time of the Hiawatha’s arrival.

Be aware that both northbound and southbound trains may arrive at the depot simultaneously, so listen carefully to which platform you need to be at when they arrive.

Once your train arrives at the Sturtevant Depot

After the train arrives, conductors will open doors in two locations; these doors are usually a third of the way from each end of the train.

Conductors regularly scan tickets after the train departs Sturtevant and heads to Chicago. Conductors may lift tickets for Milwaukee-bound travelers before passengers board the train. (When in doubt, ask the conductor) All of this can change, so always be ready.

Seating is not reserved nor assigned on this train, so any open seat is available.

If you find a packed car, try another; there are four to six cars.

How to get tickets to ride

Quik-Trak Ticket Machine
Amtrak’s New Quik-Trak Ticket Machine

You cannot buy a ticket from an agent at the unstaffed Sturtevant Depot, but you can use the ticket machine. You can buy a ticket to leave from this station in other ways.

You can purchase tickets via:

  • Amtrak.com
  • The Amtrak app
  • Calling 1-800-USA-RAIL
  • At the depot, use the Quik-Trak ticket machine; cards are only allowed.
  • There is a fee for using cash onboard (this option may not be available).

After you buy tickets over the phone, online, or with the app, Amtrak emails you an eticket and receipt.

You can print out or scan the eticket from an electronic device.


Ways to get to and From the Sturtevant Depot

  • Taxies (phone numbers posted in the station)
  • Uber/Lyft
  • Public transportation (buses)
  • Friends and family
  • Airport shuttle companies

How I take advantage of this depot

I learned long ago that this station has many advantages; you can start your world travels from this small community.

As an intermodal traveler, I use the Hiawatha from this depot to catch another train, bus, or plane. It saves me the hassle of driving to the bigger cities, and this depot can save me money on parking! The downside is that it does take more time.

How to use the Hiawatha and Borealis to get to other Milwaukee transport

Milwaukee Airport

When I fly out of Milwaukee, I try to book a flight that allows me to take the train to the airport. Once I get to the airport, I can take one of the free shuttles between the Milwaukee Airport Station (MKA) and the terminal. It costs around $10 to take the train to the airport.

Around trip and parking at Sturtevant Depot cost approximately $27 for the first person and $20 for additional people. You could save money if you fly and are gone for more than four days. If you are gone longer, any inconveniences could be worth the savings. When looking, the cheapest parking at MKE is $8 a day.

Connecting With Bus Services (Greyhound)

The Hiawatha will take you to the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, where you can catch bus services to other destinations. The Hiawatha will cost an average of $11.

Parking at the Intermodal is $8 a day.

Taking the train to Chicago Transport

Chicago Airports

The Hiawatha and Borealis take you to downtown Chicago; from there, you can walk, catch public transportation, or hire a ride.

Getting to Midway

If you need to get to Midway, walk .3 miles to the Quincy Station (over the river and past the Willis (Sears) Tower). From there, walk up the stairs or take the elevator and follow the signs for the Orange Line. The Orange Line is the inner track or the furthest from Chicago Union Station.

Once you board, sit back and relax for about 30 minutes until the train terminates at Midway. The CTA will cost around $2.50, and the Hiawatha will cost approximately $24.

Getting to O’Hare

To get to O’Hare, walk 900 feet to the Clinton Station (which is underground). The CTA Blue Line terminates at O’Hare, so stay on it till the end. The ride takes about 49 minutes. The CTA will cost around $2.50 and approximately $24 for the train down.

The other option is to take Metra’s North Central Service, which leaves out of the North Gate, the same side as the Hiawatha. The train takes about 33 minutes. Once you arrive at the station, a bus will take you to your terminal. It will cost around $3.75 to take the train from Chicago Union Station and get a free shuttle. This train only operates on weekdays and does not operate on holidays.

Chicago Bus Service

The bus terminal in Chicago is about a .4-mile walk from Union Station, where you can catch Grayhound and other bus services.

Safe Travels!

Kev

* http://www.greatamericanstations.com/stations/sturtevant-wi-svt/

The official SVT Amtrak site

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Kevin Monteith

Kev Monteith has been traveling on Amtrak since 2012. With over a decade of experience, he has been on over 800 trains, covering over 200k miles of rail. Kev enjoys helping others achieve their travel dreams by providing support and information. Outside of travel, Kev enjoys making music as an organist and outings with family.

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