SVT: Sturtevant Depot (Station) and the Hiawatha

by Kev
SVT Sign

My first Amtrak adventure started at the Sturtevant Depot, and still, many of my trips start and finish here even if I fly. The Sturtevant Depot has a soft spot in my travel heart, hence a whole article dedicated to it.

Editorial note: I use depot and station interchangeably in this article; both conductors and riders use both terms.

Due to the Covid-19 mask are required on the train and in the station. Cash is not excepted on the train, so purchase your tickets online, in the app, or the station’s ticket machine. The Hiawatha has a service reduction; check with the schedule link below.

A brief history of the Sturtevant Depot

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

On August 14, 2006,  the new depot opened now with ADA compliant facilities, improved safety, and more parking.

The new depot kept the trademark Victorian-inspired octagon tower complete and decorative brackets of the former depot’s design. The original Milwaukee Road Depot now resides in a nearby Caledonia, WI, park.

Front of SVT
A street view of the Sturtevant Station

Sturtevant Depot Locations

The station located at:
9900 East Exploration Court
Sturtevant, WI 53177-1764

Click here for a map and to explore what is around the depot

Fun facts

  • Amtrak station code: SVT
  • Annual station revenue FY 2018 $1,588,630 *
  • Annual station ridership FY 2018 82,814 *
  • The station and parking are owned and maintained by the Village of Sturtevant.
  • The tracks and platform owned by Canadian Pacific/Soo Line

Train routes served

The Hiawatha is the only train that servers this depot, although the Empire Builder passes by this station.  Amtrak runs 14 daily Hiawatha Trains (Monday-Saturday) 7 in each direction; on Sunday, trains 329 and 330 do not run.

The Stops of the Hiawatha

Northbound trains

After leaving the station, the northbound trains stop at:

  • MKAMilwaukee Gen. Mitchell Airport (WI)
  • MKEMilwaukee Intermodal Station (Downtown Milwaukee, WI) (Final northbound stop)

From Sturtevant to downtown Milwaukee is 23 miles, taking 29 minutes, averaging 47 mph, and reaching top speeds of 79 mph.

A southbound Hiawatha pulling into the Sturtevant Depot
A southbound Hiawatha pulling into the Sturtevant Depot

Southbound trains stop at:

  • GLNGlenview (IL)
  • CHI: Chicago Union Station (Downtown Chicago, IL) (Final southbound stop)

The trip from Sturtevant to Chicago Union Station is 63 miles, taking 1.1 hours, averaging 57 mph, and reach a top speed of 79 mph.

Services NOT available

The Sturtevant Station is unstaffed by Amtrak; the following functions are unavailable

  • Checked baggage services
  • Checked Bikes
  • Station assistance is not available
  • Tickets agents are not available (ticket information is further down)

Services available

  • Golf bag check (fee and policy)
  • Carry on pets (fee and procedure)
  • A Quik-Trak machine is available to purchase tickets, credit, and debit cards only.
  • Trackside assistance for getting on and off the train is available from the onboard staff
A trackside view of the Sturtevant Depot
A trackside view of the Sturtevant Depot

Sturtevant Depot amenities

  • ADA compliant
  • The depot is climate controlled
  • Benches are available inside the depot
  • 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

Parking for the Sturtevant depot

At the time of publishing, parking is a flat rate of $7 for up to 30 days of continuous parking. The Village offers monthly, six months, and yearly parking passes.

The Hiawatha

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

Before the train arrives

Typically the northbound Hiawatha uses Track One, furthermost from the stations (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 CP Railroad dispatches the train.  Conductors make announcements over the depot’s PA system to alert passengers when the train arrives and what track it will arrive on. Make sure you keep your ears open.

Be aware, occasionally, both north and southbound trains may arrive at the depot simultaneously, so listen carefully to what platform you need to be at when it comes.

If your back is to the depot, northbound trains (from Chicago) will come in from the right, and southbound (from Milwaukee) from the left.

Once the train arrives at the Sturtevant Depot

After the train arrives at the platform, conductors will open a set of doors in two locations; these doors are usually a third of the way from each end of the train.  Conductors will regularly scan your tickets after the train departs from Sturtevant and heads to Chicago. For Milwaukee bound travelers, conductors may lift tickets before passengers board the train. (When in doubt, ask the conductor)

Amtrak Quiet Car
These signs hang from the ceilings of the Quiet Cars, so you know to be quiet

Seating is not reserved nor assigned, so any open seat is available. If a car is full, try another car; here are six in total. The last coach car in the direction of travel is the quiet car; this means a library atmosphere. Headphones are mandatory, talking on your phone is forbidden, and no loud talking or loud snoring.

Amtrak does not permit the consumption of alcohol on the Hiawatha. This train no longer has food or beverage service but has cell-based WIFi is available.

Buying tickets for the Hiawatha

Quik-Trak Machine
Amtrak’s Quik-Trak ticket machine

Purchase tickets by

  • Amtrak.com
  • Amtrak’s apps
  • Calling 1-800-USA-RAIL
  • At the station using the Quik-Trak ticket machine, cards only.
  • By using cash onboard, but there is a fee

After buying tickets over the phone, online, or with the app, Amtrak sends an email with your eticket and receipt. The eticket can either be printed out or scanned from an electronic device. If you use the Amtrak app, the conductors can “lift” your ticket from there.

Leaving the depot

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

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Safe Travels!

Kev

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

The official SVT Amtrak site

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