The West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition provides leadership and coordination to develop passenger rail service through west central Wisconsin as part of a regional strategy to ensure a balance transportation system necessary for long term sustainable economic growth.
The West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition has been actively pursuing revival of a regional passenger rail route since 1999. Made up volunteers including business people, government officials, environmentalists, and concerned citizens, the coalition is also a committee of Momentum West, the 10 county Regional Economic Development Organization. The coalition meets monthly, and as needed in working committees. There is also an annual meeting held in the fall. Some major accomplishments to date have been:
• In 2000, efforts resulted in additional state analysis of the economic impact of a West Central Wisconsin route on the Midwest Regional Rail System.
• In 2001, the state concluded in the Intercity Passenger Rail Corridors Feasibility Study that a West Central Wisconsin route would contribute significant economic impact.
• In 2003, the state’s Wisconsin Rail Issues & Opportunities Report stated a West Central Wisconsin route would improve the overall financial performance of the proposed regional rail system.
• In 2005, the City of Eau Claire included passenger rail in its Comprehensive Plan.
• In 2009, the City of Eau Claire included passenger rail in its Sustainability Plan.
• In 2009, the City and County of Eau Claire passed resolutions in support of passenger rail.
• In 2009, State Legislation authorized creation of an Eau Claire Metropolitan Planning Organization Regional Transit Authority.
• In 2009, the coalition worked to influence the final state transportation plan (Connections 2030) to include studying a West Central Wisconsin route as one of two alternatives in linking Madison with Minneapolis/St. Paul, a specifying West Central Wisconsin as one of the state’s fastest-growing areas that should be served by the passenger rail network.
• Current efforts the coalition is actively involved in are: (1) The Milwaukee to Twin Cities Passenger Rail NEPA Down-Select Process; (2) Gateway Corridor Commission’s Alternatives Analysis Study, which looks at transit options including commuter rail to Eau Claire, WI and; (3) the Wisconsin State Rail Plan (on hold by Gov. Walker’s order).
Coalition Monthly Meetings
WHEN: The third Thursday most months (check the main page for location and time of the next meeting).
TIME: 7:30am to 8:30am
WHERE: Chippewa Valley Technical College -
Business Education Center
ADDRESS: 620 West Clairemont Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54701
The West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition
C/O Momentum West
2322 Alpine Road Suite 7
Eau Claire, WI 54703