IMAGINE boarding in Eau Claire and traveling by passenger train to Madison. Unlike the present, when most travel this route by car, you could sit relaxed and take in the beauty of the rolling countryside. You’re able to safely interact with family or friends or polish up on your business presentation before the big meeting. Opposed to being road weary from driving for hours, by the time you reach your destination, you’re calm and ready to set out on your purpose. Sound too good? The reality is it could not be that far off….
THE TIME IS NOW to bring a new era of passenger rail back to West Central Wisconsin! The Federal Government has demonstrated its renewed commitment to rail travel by appropriating $8 billion in the Recovery Act to build high speed rail lines around the country. Billions more are expected each year after. Wisconsin being a part of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative hopes to secure funding this year for Phase 1 – linking Madison, via Milwaukee, to Chicago. Phase 2 will link Madison to St. Paul and West Central Wisconsin has a shot to be the go between. Preliminary work will include studying engineering and environmental impacts on both the West Central Wisconsin route and Amtrak’s existing route. This work could begin sooner than expected as reaching St. Paul and Minneapolis is second in order of the larger Midwest Regional Rail Initiative.
JOIN THE EFFORT the West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition has been advocating for this type of passenger rail for over 10 years. Its mission is to “provide leadership and coordination to develop passenger rail service through West Central Wisconsin as part of a regional strategy to ensure a balanced transportation system for long term sustainable economic growth.” Let your voice be heard by contacting your State legislator, submit supporting comments to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and spread the word.