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.
This story prepared by Terry Brown.
How close are we to the expansion of Hiawatha Service?
Sent from the iPad of Tom Rygh