Constructed to replace a 1901 Milwaukee Road depot located downtown, the current structure opened in 2006 and includes a Victorian-inspired octagonal tower and decorative brackets.
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2023): 47,266
- Facility Ownership: Village of Sturtevant
- Parking Lot Ownership: Village of Sturtevant
- Platform Ownership: Village of Sturtevant
- Track Ownership: Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CP)/Soo Line Railroad (Canadian Pacific Railway)
On Saturday, August 14, 2006, Sturtevant’s new station received its first revenue train. Two days before, the village had held the Grand Opening for this new facility, where Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, and County Executive William McReynolds spoke, celebrating a project eight years in the making. The new facility retains much of the architectural charm of the circa-1901 Victorian station it replaced, having an octagonal tower over one end of the white-trimmed L-shaped brick station with decorative brackets and wide eaves under its hipped roof. The station also features a pair of brick and glass hip-roofed towers with stairs and elevators that allow safe crossing over this much-used stretch of rail. Two drop-off points and ample parking make this facility within the Renaissance Business Park easy to access.
Before this new facility came into operation, Amtrak served the downtown station a mile to the south at 2904 Wisconsin Street. This older station had been built in 1901 by the Milwaukee Road. Sturtevant’s passenger service was discontinued by the mid 1960s but restored with the start-up of Amtrak in 1971, so that there would still be train service near Racine, which had lost its service. Although rail service had returned to Sturtevant, the building deteriorated over time and in 1998, village officials applied for a federal grant to construct a new station, while moving to prevent demolition of the old one. Financing, originally thought to be $1 million, would be funded at 80 percent by a state grant and 20 percent by the village. By July, 2000, the first architectural plans were made illustrating a 1,500 square-foot station, two side platforms and a pedestrian tunnel underneath the rails.
The village council gave final approval for construction in April, 2001, with construction slated to begin that November. Then construction costs were revised upwards to $2.1 million and the size of the station increased to 1,800 square feet—and construction pushed back to fall of 2002. Groundbreaking was again delayed by a dispute between the village and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) regarding liability for what happens on railroad property during construction. The issue was not resolved until February, 2003, with solicitation of bids shortly thereafter.
By May of 2003, costs for construction were revised upward again, to $4.1 million, resulting primarily from the necessity of relocating fiber optic lines during construction of the pedestrian tunnel. To reduce overall costs, village officials asked the architects to remove the tunnel and replace it with an elevated walkway over the tracks. The village board gave final approval to the revised plans in October, 2004. The $3.2 million cost was to be financed through a pair of federal transportation grants in addition to the village borrowing against its tax incremental financing district from the adjacent industrial park.
After the opening of the new station, ridership for Sturtevant rose by 16 percent. The new station was popular with passengers partly because of parking, safe lighting and easy access—and because passengers in the southern part of Milwaukee preferred not to drive north to downtown Milwaukee to take a train south to Illinois. Income from the parking lot is used to implement suggestions made by riders such as installing benches on the platforms.
Meanwhile, the fate of the older station hung in the balance. CP offered a choice of razing the building or moving it. They owned both the structure and parking lot across the tracks. Local businessmen who had purchased the Klinkert Hotel near the old depot intended to buy the adjacent station parking lot, which could only happen when the building was somehow disposed of. Heading off demolition, the nearby Caledonia Historical Society negotiated to purchase the depot and move it out of the village to Linwood Park, and CP agreed to pay half the costs of the move. The structure was finally moved to its new home in four pieces on October 25, 2009 where it was placed on a new foundation and winterized, with restoration to be completed the next spring. The Caledonia Historical Society paid $36,000 for the move; however they estimated that it might cost another $50,000 for restoration to preserve this unique building—all derived from pledged donations. The CP built a metal structure on the site of the former station to serve its own needs.
The Sturtevant area, a few miles west of present day Racine and the shores of Lake Michigan, has been settled and farmed for 2,000 years, the first farmers belonging to the Hopewell Culture of Native Americans, and later the Miami and Potawatomi tribes. While European trappers, missionaries, and fur traders had visited the region since the 1700s, it was not until the 1830s, after the end of the Blackhawk Wars, that pioneers from western New York State, rural New England and Britain came to the area to grow and mill wheat.
In 1842, Jerome Increase Case arrived from New York with a combined thresher-separator that he had invented and settled in nearby Racine; the company he founded later became CNH Global, still a leading manufacturer of agricultural and construction equipment. Case agricultural equipment is still seen being shipped via rail around the site of the former Sturtevant station.
For a while, in the 1870s, the area supported a steam-powered automobile industry, including Carhart, J.I. Case, and Mitchell and Lewis. Even today, businesses providing parts for vehicles remain major employers in the region. Bombardier Recreational Products, which manufactures personal watercraft, snowmobiles, sport boats, and Evinrude Outboard Motors is located in Sturtevant in the research park where the station is located. Sturtevant also is home to other machine and machine tool manufacturers. There is still a freight rail connection to Waxdale just east of the village, servicing the SC Johnson Company, one of the largest manufacturers of personal, household and professional cleaning products in the world.
The Sturtevant village originated at a junction of the east-west Western Union Railroad (built in 1852) and the north-south Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad (1873). A farmer named Parker had owned that land—Parkersville—which subsequently had its name to Western Union Junction. In 1901, the name of the village was changed to Corliss, to reflect the location of the Brown Corliss Engine Company there, erecting a large building and manufacturing some of the largest steam engines in the United States. However, as the time of the steam engine gradually passed, and the Corliss Engine Company declined, the B.F. Sturtevant Company of Boston, Mass. bought it and on October 23, 1923, changed the village’s name from Corliss to Sturtevant. Today there is not a B.F. Sturtevant factory in the village, the building itself having been torn down in the 1980s. Nonetheless, the village remains Sturtevant, at the junction of two rail lines.
The Hiawatha Service is financed primarily through funds made available by the Wisconsin and Illinois State Departments of Transportation.
- ATM not available
- No elevator
- No payphones
- No Quik-Trak kiosks
- No Restrooms
- Unaccompanied child travel not allowed
- No vending machines
- No WiFi
- Arrive at least minutes prior to departure
- Amtrak Express shipping not available
- No checked baggage service
- No checked baggage storage
- Bike boxes not available
- No baggage carts
- Ski bags not available
- No bag storage
- Shipping boxes not available
- No baggage assistance
- No payphones
- No accessible restrooms
- No accessible ticket office
- No accessible waiting room
- No accessible water fountain
- No high platform
- No wheelchair
- No wheelchair lift