More Amtrak Station work in Wisconsin

Platform remodeling and a wheelchair ramp addition in Portage

January 12, 2019 – Outdoor station remodeling continues at the Amtrak Station in Portage, WI.  Beginning last fall 2018, reports are this construction will wrap up Spring 2019.

Passengers using the Portage Station should always remain away from the tracks since this is a crew change point for the Canadian Pacific Railroad.

WisARP reminds all Amtrak passengers can check the status of their train at  Click on TRAIN STATUS on the upper right of your screen.  Or check out the Amtrak app for Android or iOS.  You’ll need to know your train number.





December 15, 2018 – The CP Holiday Train made numerous visits in the state of Wisconsin on Friday and Saturday, December 7 & 8.  In fact, the CP Holiday Train made more stops in Wisconsin this year then in its 20 year history.
One notable stop this year was Portage, WI. The Holiday Train visit this year was opposite the Amtrak train station taking advantage of open space off of Averbeck St. Steven Sobiek, Director of Business Development and Planning for Portage said “the new venue on the north side of the tracks allows for more people to get a much closer and better view of the train concert.” There was ample room for parking this year, and the hope is room for a larger crowd in the future.
The CP Holiday Train is an effort to raise, money, food and awareness for local food banks and food shelves. Photo credits: top photo courtesy of Steven Sobiek, City of Portage;  bottom photo courtesy of Lyn Jerde, Portage Daily Register.

cp holiday train 2018cp holiday train 2018 Portage

BRIGHTLINE Presentation by Russell Roberts at MIPRC

December 11, 2018 – HAPPY HOLIDAYS! everyone from the Wisconsin Association for Railroad Passengers.  As a Holiday treat I’m posting a speech/ presentation that wasn’t within a WisARP meeting.

Hopefully everyone is familiar with the upstart passenger railroad in Florida named Brightline, a private company.  Russell Roberts, Vice President Government Affairs and Brightline have given us permission to post Roberts presentation about Brightline from this past October at the Midwest Intercity Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) meeting.  Roberts explains how the Florida endeavor is more than just a railroad experience.

In addition to the presentation, Mark Quam (West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition) has supplied a dozen pictures from his Florida visit in October.  He had a first hand experience with Brightline.  These are included at the end of Roberts’ presentation.  Enjoy this special video!  Happy Holidays!

Rusty Roberts thumb_Copy


BADGER RAILS 4th Quarter-2018 issue is out!

badger rails 4Q-2018 snap

December 1, 2018 – The latest issue of BADGER RAILS is out.  Badger Rails is a WisARP member only publication.  E-mail copies were sent out Friday, November 30, 2018.  If your copy arrives by USPS, expect it around December 8, 2018.  If you are not a member and wish to receive a copy of Badger Rails, please email                                                            < > for membership information.

Andrew Selden speech from Fall 2018 General Meeting

November 30, 2018 – The third video post from the October 27, 2018 General Meeting at The Ingleside Hotel in Pewaukee is ready.

In the six years I’ve been involved with WisARP, I’ve heard some extremely informative speeches, and I’ve heard some motivating ones as well.  But I don’t recall hearing one as dynamic as this speech from Andrew Selden.  In the Passenger Railroad circles Selden is known as President of The United Rail Passenger Alliance and a columnist for Railway Age Magazine.

Whatever your favorite Amtrak ride is, Selden might make you think differently about it’s performance.  The financial and accounting reports supplied by Amtrak are discussed at length in this informative speech.

Other videos posted from this General Meeting include WisARP President John Parkyn’s Keynote address and the presentation by Arun Rao, Passenger Rail Implementation Manager from WisDOT.  Check these out on the < WisARP Wisconsin > YouTube Channel.


ARUN RAO 10-27-18 Presentation Video Posted

November 27, 2018 – Arun Rao, Passenger Rail Manager for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation was a featured speaker at the October General Meeting last month.  The video of his presentation has been posted on the YouTube Channel for WisARP.  A link to the video is below.

Part of Rao’s presentation reviewed the history of passenger rail between Milwaukee and Chicago.  Some of this historical perspective is enlightening given the progression of the TCMC train.  (Twin Cities- Milwaukee- Chicago, or second Empire Builder ending at St. Paul, MN.)

The Q&A session of Rao’s appearance at the General Meeting is on a separate video, also posted on our YouTube Channel.  To find our channel on YouTube, search for               < WisARP Wisconsin >.

Tomah Train Station Nov Update

November 24, 2018 – Over two years ago Amtrak began remodeling the Tomah train station.  By Thanksgiving 2016 remodel work had stopped with no word why.  Tomah city officials have been frustrated with the inactivity, eyesores surrounded by a fence and no replies from Amtrak.  September 2018 progress resumed in Tomah.  Will the remodel be complete by the November 30, 2018 promised date?

The < WISARP WISCONSIN > YouTube website has a short video about the condition of the station last month.