March 25, 2022 – The first Green Bay Extension Newsletter is being released in conjunction with the WisARP General Meeting in Appleton on March 26, 2022.

The above picture is the backside of the former C&NW train station in Oshkosh as a Canadian National freight train passes by. All downloadable newsletter elements are below.





September 30, 2020 – Reports are our legislators in Washington D.C. are working together to fund another stimulus bill. Any help for Amtrak that can be funded would be welcome.

The current news about the Empire Builder is the current date for downgrading service to three times per week is Monday, October 19. This service cut will happen even if congress acts to supply funding for Amtrak. Any new funding congress enacts for Amtrak needs to have the requirement that Long Distance service needs to remain daily.

The latest TCMC Newsletter is at the bottom of this blog. It’s almost entirely dedicated toto Empire Builder news. For the absolute latest information regarding Amtrak Long Distance service including the Empire Builder, WisARP suggests checking with Trains Magazine Newswire and Also included below is another sample letter you can use to contact our U.S. Senators Baldwin and Johnson. Calling them and leaving a short message is strongly suggested, but writing a message would also be helpful.




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.

TCMC Funding Battle Continues

June 28, 2019 — Regardless of what you’ve heard about the Wisconsin budget status, we all need to keep telling everyone about the benefits of the TCMC train.

Hopefully you know what the TCMC train is:  A second daily passenger train between the Twin Cities (St. Paul, MN.) – Milwaukee & Chicago.  This train will travel on the Empire Builder route through central and western Wisconsin, in addition to stops at Milwaukee, Sturtevant and the Mitchell Airport Station.

As I type the TCMC train is not completely shut out of the 2019-2021 Biennial Budget process, but the road to success is long and hard now.

In the meantime, your voice expressed to your elected representatives in Madison is still very important, regardless of the outcome of the 2019-2021 budget.  If you don’t know how to contact your representatives over this topic, two documents are attached to this post to help you out.

WisARP sample legis letter verA2             WisARP sample legis letter verB2

These two documents are sample letters you can use contacting your Senators and Assembly Representatives.  They are very similar, but the letter information is presented in a different order.  Choose the one that represents your feelings best.  Absolutely no problem if you decide to tweak the letter or add your own personal experience to make it stronger.  The letter also contains the website URL for finding out who your representatives are and how you can contact them.

WisARP would like to thank you in advance for taking the time to contact your Madison lawmakers.  Even if you do not live along the Empire Builder route of the TCMC train, your input is still very important.  Do not discount the value of your contribution at this time.

I would like to thank Mark Weitenbeck for his invaluable contributions to this post and sample letters.  Please contact me at < > if you have any questions.

Contacting Senators and Representatives

How to easily contact your Senators and Representatives

It is so important to contact your state and national lawmakers regarding your support for pro-passenger rail legislation, or opposition to anti-passenger rail bills.    If we are silent when Amtrak is attacked and passenger rail funds get drastic cuts, how are our Lawmakers to know how they are hurting the transportation system
that so many rely upon.

Members of Wisarp and rail fans in general can really help to protect passenger rail.    Just a quick email on your Lawmaker’s official website !    Let’s let them know just how much support for passenger rail is out  there !    This is so easy.  (the steps described below may differ a little on some browsers)

State of Wisconsin Lawmakers

The quickest way:     Go to   Then click on “Government” near the top.  Then click on   “Elected Officials”  on the left side.    Then click on “Who are my elected officials?” on the left side.     In the white box on the top right,  type in your address.   Your state lawmakers with their toll free phone number and
email address comes up.

To see all officials In Wisconsin:
State Senate:  Go to    Then click the tab near the top that says “Government”.   Click on “Elected Officials’ on your left.

Click on the blue tab for “State Senate.”  Then click on “Senators” on the left side.   On the top left of this list, you can sort the list by district or last name.  The Senator’s email address and phone number are near their picture.     Or on the Senator’s website:   click on “contact” to email or call them.

Assembly:  Go to and click on blue box on top that says “Government.”  Then click on “Elected Officials” on your left.

Click on the blue tab for “State Assembly.”     Then scroll down a little and click on “Representatives” on the left side.   On the top left of this list, you can sort the list by district or by last name. The Representative’s email address and phone number are near their picture.

Or on the Representative’s website:   click on “contact” to email or to call them.    All the webpages are not quite the same so just find where you can contact them.