February 24, 2019 – The recent Town Hall Meetings in Tomah and Portage have passed, but our work is far from finished. Our elected representatives in Madison are now and will continue to be working on the budget bill for several months. We need to encourage both Senators and Assembly Representatives to earmark money for the Second Daily Amtrak Train to help finish up the preliminary studies: Finishing the environmental impact studies and The Service Development Plan are next in line for this multi-year process. Without this allocation, this train could be set back years before it comes to fruition. To learn more, check out this video.
The attached PDF file ( WisARPinfo Call To Action ) has some instructions on how to find out who your legislators are in Wisconsin. Write them an e-mail! Make a phone call to their office. But please do not sit by and allow this chance to pass. Let your elected representatives in Madison know that you are hopeful the Second Daily Amtrak Train along the Empire Builder route is important to you!
February 18, 2019 – Rail Passengers Association (RPA) in their February 15, 2019 News Hotline divulged information that WisDOT will receive up to $5 million to construct a second platform at the Mitchell Airport Amtrak Station.
Although details of the grant were not specific, it is widely understood the second platform would be similar to the tower formation constructed at the Sturtevant Amtrak station, finished in 2006. The grant comes from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program.
This station improvement is part of the process of increasing Amtrak Hiawatha frequency from seven to ten trains per day. Documents from the October 2016 public hearing of the Phase I Environmental Impact Study (EIS) specifically state a second platform on the west side of the tracks was necessary.
Among several Canadian Pacific comments in the Phase I EIS, a second platform was requested at the MARS (Milwaukee Airport Railway Station) stop to keep all trains on their normal track and eliminate crossover movements. This has been deemed more efficient in keeping all freight and passenger trains fluid through MARS compared to multiple crossovers.
February 8, 2019 – WisARP has scheduled two Town Hall Meetings during the second week of February 2019 in Tomah and Portage, Wisconsin. These meetings will review the current status of the second Empire Builder train (TCMC) and what action YOU can take to help make this train become a reality. The meetings will be led by Terry Brown, Vice-President of Communications.
Wednesday, February 13 in Tomah at 7p. The Meeting will be located in the Chamber Room of City Hall, 819 Superior Ave.
FEB8 UPDATE!! The Tomah meeting will include two guest speakers: Arun Rao, Passenger Rail Implementation Manager for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and Marc Magliari, Public Relations Manager (Spokesman) and Amtrak Government Affairs & Corporate Communications Manager.
Thursday, February 14 in Portage at 7p. The Meeting will be located in the Portage Enterprise Center, 1800 Kutzke Road, in conference room 101. Please enter door one.
FEB8 UPDATE!! WisARP is obviously excited to have these two officials appear at the Town Hall Meeting in Tomah, but disappointed these two are unable to attend the Town Hall Meeting in Portage. Terry Brown will convey much of the information delivered by Rao and Magliari at the Portage meeting, so those attendees will be fully informed.
Attached to this blog below are flyers/ posters for the two meetings. If you live near Tomah or Portage and can help out notifying the public of these meetings, please download these flyers and post in appropriate places. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated!