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.
For people in Southeast Wisconsin, this depot can be the start of many of your adventures and save you money!
Most of my trips, regardless of ending transportation type, start here.
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 Caledonia, WI, park.
Where To Find The Sturtevant Depot
The Sturtevant Depot Location
9900 East Exploration Court
Sturtevant, WI 53177-1764
Fun Depot Facts
Trains You Can See The Sturtevant Depot
The Hiawatha is the only train that serves this depot. Amtrak runs 14 daily Hiawatha Trains (Monday-Saturday), 7 in each direction; on Sunday, trains 329 and 330 do not run.
The Empire Builder passes through but does not serve this depot. To catch the Empire Builder, take the Hiawatha to Milwaukee or Chicago.
The Stops of the Hiawatha
Northbound Hiawatha stops
After leaving the station, the northbound train stops at:
- MKA: Milwaukee Gen. Mitchell Airport (WI)
- MKE: Milwaukee Intermodal Station (Downtown Milwaukee, WI) (Final stop)
From Sturtevant to downtown Milwaukee is 23 miles, taking 29 minutes, averaging 47 mph, and reaching top speeds of 79 mph.
Southbound Hiawatha stops
The trip from Sturtevant to Chicago Union Station is 63 miles, taking 1.1 hours, averaging 57 mph, and reaching a top speed of 79 mph.
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
- You can use Amtrak’s generous carry-on policy.
- Ticket agent
- There are drink and snack vending machines.
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) onto the change (this can change at any time).
- 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
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
- The bridge and towers help passengers to get safely over the tracks below.
- The towers are climate-controlled, with both stairs and elevators.
Sturtevant Depot Parking
In 2023, parking at the depot is flat at $7 per visit. For $7, you can park in that lot for up to 30 days. 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, there are two kiosks for you to pay for parking. They take cards and cash.
How To Pay For Parking At The Sturtevant Depot
- Hit the top button on the right panel; the “Make Selection To Park” is a silver button with a blue ring to light.
- Pay with cash or card; the machine does not take coins and denominations from $1-$20, and the device will give change. It also accepts Visa, Mastercard, and Discover debit and credit cards. When “dipping” your card in the machine, you have the strip up and to the left.
- A receipt will pop out, and the gate will rise; you can pick whatever spot makes you happy.
I tend to put the recipe in the window, but I do not think that is mandatory.
Before The Hiawatha Arrives
Typically, the northbound Hiawatha uses Track One, furthermost from the stations (you have to 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 CP Railroad dispatches the train.
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 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 you face away from the depot (toward the windmill), northbound trains (from Chicago) will come in from the right and southbound (from Milwaukee) from the left.
When The Hiawatha 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. For Milwaukee-bound travelers, conductors may lift tickets before passengers board the train. (When in doubt, ask the conductor)
Seating is not reserved nor assigned on this train, so any open seat is available.
If you find a packed car, try another.
Amtrak Quiet Cars
Amtrak’s Quiet Cars maintains a library atmosphere.
Headphones are mandatory, talking on your phone is forbidden, and no loud talking or loud snoring.
You do not need a special ticket to use it; if you cannot or do not want to maintain this atmosphere, try a different one.
The Quiet Car is the last for Northbound trains or the lead one for Southbound. Look for overhead signs indicating this destination. This location can change at any time.
You can ask conductors as you board for the location of the Quiet Car.
Food and alcohol on the Hiawatha
Amtrak does not permit alcohol consumption on the Hiawatha, and the train does not have food or beverage service.
Wifi on the train
The Hiawatha offers Amtrak Wifi for passengers to use. It
How To Get Tickets
You need a ticket to ride; since the Sturtevant Depot is unstaffed, you cannot buy tickets from a human, but there are other options.
You can purchase tickets via:
- The Amtrak app
- Calling 1-800-USA-RAIL
- At the depot, using the Quik-Trak ticket machine, cards only.
- By using cash onboard, there is a fee (this option may not be available.)
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.
Ways To Get To And From The Sturtevant Depot
- Taxies (phone numbers posted in the station)
- Public transportation (buses)
- Friends and family
- Airport shuttle companies
How I Take Advantage Of This Depot
I learned long ago that this station has some 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. I use it because 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.
The Hiawatha To Other Milwaukee Transport
When I fly out of Milwaukee, I take the Hiawatha to Milwaukee Gen Mitchell Airport from the Sturtevant Depot as much as possible.
The airport runs shuttles to and from the Milwaukee Airport Station (MKA) to 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 $11.
Parking at the Intermodal is $8 a day.
Taking the train to Chicago Transport
The Hiawatha takes you to downtown Chicago; from there, you can walk and 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.
Please stay on this CTA until the end because it terminates at Midway for about 30 minutes. The CTA will cost around $2.50 and approximately $24 for the Hiawatha.
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 $6.25 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.