The Spring 2023 General Membership Meeting for the Wisconsin Association of Railroad Passengers has been set for Saturday, March 25, 2023 beginning at 10am CDT. This Spring the meeting will be conducted by Zoom Meeting software only. The virtual meeting will be sponsored by and hosted by the High Speed Rail Alliance.

This meeting will be FREE to everyone that registers in advance. https://tinyurl.com/t97zkfwk

WisARP Spring Meeting Agenda-Sat. March 25th, 2023

10:00 am John Parkyn (President of WisARP) – Opening Remarks

10:05 am High Speed Rail Alliance presentation-Rick Harnish (Executive Director)

10:35 am Lisa Stern (WisDOT-Chief of Harbors & Railroads) presentation

11:00 am Break

11:10 am Scott Rogers (VP of Governmental Affairs-Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the West Central WI Rail Coalition) update on passenger rail developments for West Central WI and the region.

11:35 am Mayor Don Merkes-Menasha, WI & Mayor Tony Penterman-Kaukauna, WI will give a joint presentation on the efforts to extend passenger rail service from Milwaukee to Green Bay via the Fox Cities.

12Noon John Parkyn (President of WisARP) Closing Remarks & Adjournment





August 25, 2020 – The date etched in the sand is October 1, 2020. This is the date the Empire Builder will begin running three days per week.

In an attempt to encourage Congress to maintain the daily travel of Amtrak passenger trains on the Long Distance network, many passenger rail users are writing their elected officials in the Senate. They have the next move on a transportation funding bill to help the country get through the effects of the COVID pandemic.

WisARP is encouraging its members to do the same. You can download a sample letter to use when writing both Senators, or create your own letter with a personal story to convey. Please do this soon.

For the latest news on the Empire Builder including updates on the legislative actions being taken, WisARP is suggesting using the NewsWire from Trains Magazine.

Will the U.S. Senate cut funding for Long Distance Amtrak trains this fall?

WisARP and All Aboard WI working to save Amtrak’s Empire Builder Service in Wisconsin

By Mark Quam

This story, written by Mark Quam, is from the August 15, 2019 issue of the TCMC Newsletter.  Quam is very involved in Passenger Rail advocacy in the State of Wisconsin.  He is Vice President of All Aboard Wisconsin.  He is also Secretary of the West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition trying to start passenger rail service between Eau Claire and the Twin Cities. 

Efforts are currently underway by the White House to shut down Amtrak’s long distance train system this October.  In response to this recent development, All Aboard Arizona has taken on a national effort to help save Amtrak’s long distance trains west of the Mississippi River.  All Aboard Arizona and several other western passenger rail organizations (see sidebar, page two) recently appointed Tony Trifiletti as Coordinator of the Western Interstate Trains Coalition. (WITC)

WITC currently has efforts underway to save Amtrak’s long distance trains which serve the Midwest, Southwest and Western States.  Those routes would include the Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Coast Starlight and the Sunset Limited.  The goal is to form partnerships and working relationships with other non-profit passenger rail organizations from the Midwest, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Plains Region, Mountain Region and South Central States and basically everything west of Chicago and the Mississippi River.

WITC is interested in having Wisconsin form some type of public outreach campaign to reach out to WI mayors, WI local officials, WI chambers of commerce, WI state legislators, WI U.S. Congressional Representatives and WI U.S. Senators.  The goal is to gain as much local support from WI cities and people who live near or along Amtrak’s Empire Builder route in Wisconsin.  This is an urgent situation which needs to be addressed this August and September. Congress will vote on this matter in October.

In response to Trifiletti’s efforts, AAW and WisARP have taken an interest in doing some outreach efforts to help save the Empire Builder service in Wisconsin.  This will be a big task.  Mark Quam, Vice President of AAW has reached out to Terry Brown with WisARP and would like to see both organizations work together to contact their Wisconsin U.S. Senators and Wisconsin Congressional Representatives with phone calls and letters.   WITC and All Aboard Arizona has put together a tool packet guide for doing outreach.  A coordinated effort between WisARP, AAW and even ProRail might make all the difference here in Wisconsin to save the Empire Builder. Members from all organizations are urged to get involved and make a difference.

WisARP-WITC Congressional Letter

Included in this post is a sample letter you can download to help create a letter to send to Senators Baldwin and Johnson, and your representative in the House.  This issue is very important to our neighbors to the west in Minnesota, but it is also very important to many Wisconsin riders that travel the Empire Builder west of St. Paul, MN.  Your participation in this issue is very much appreciated!

Western Interstate Trains Coalition has created a very informative YouTube video regarding this topic.

Check back to < http://www.WisARP.info > for more updates on the funding battle for Long Distance Amtrak trains.  Contact Terry Brown at < WisARPWisc@Gmail.com > with any questions.



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.

WisARP.info Call To Action

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!