June 5, 2022 – The latest information I have is in the May 27 issue of TCMC Newsletter. Available as a download, check out the newsletter itself featuring photos from Alan Baker of the new Siemens ALC-42 leading the Empire Builder through Wisconsin. The complete unedited copy is also available for download.



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.



featured stories include mid-February 2022 TCMC Update and the 2021 On-Time charts for the Empire Builder for Wisconsin.

February 25, 2022 – The latest TCMC Newsletter is posted. Also posted is the On-Time monthly data for the Westbound Empire Builder train number 7 for 2021. You can download as a PDF file the newsletter in addition to the monthly On-Time data. When reviewing the monthly data for #7, check out how many times the train was early into St. Paul, and by how many minutes.

March 2, 2022 UPDATE – The Eastbound #8 Empire Builder On-Time has been added.




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.

Arun Rao updates Spring Passenger Rail 2020


April 27, 2020 – The WisARP General Meeting scheduled Saturday, March 28 in LaCrosse was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. But Passenger Rail issues continue to progress in the State of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation Passenger Rail Manager Arun Rao spent some time with me earlier this month discussing the updates WisDOT has been working on since our last meeting in October 2019. It has been recorded in a video format. It is available on the WisARP YouTube Channel.

New Video from Amtrak President & CEO Bill Flynn

May 6, 2020 – In case you do not get regular e-mails from Amtrak, a new video message from Bill Flynn was recently posted on YouTube.

In a statement from the Amtrak post, “For almost five decades, Amtrak trains have taken us where we need and want to go. Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Flynn discusses the importance of intercity passenger rail and provides a heartfelt appreciation to our frontline team members, who have worked so tirelessly to provide our service to the people who need it most.:”



On March 11, 2020 Amtrak sent out an e-mail to all customers with registered e-mail accounts about its current safety measures regarding COVID-19, the Coronavirus.  If you did not receive this e-mail, the message contained is below.


The safety of our customers and employees is Amtrak’s top priority. We are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and are taking action based on guidance from public health experts. In order to maintain a safe environment and address customer concerns, we are taking measures including:

Enhanced cleaning protocols. We have increased the frequency of cleaning service on our trains and at our stations.
Additional antibacterial products. We have increased the quantity of sanitizers and disinfectant wipes available for customers and employees throughout our trains and stations.
No change fees on bookings made through April 30, 2020. We are waiving change fees so you can book travel on Amtrak® with confidence, knowing you have the flexibility to change your plans.

We have temporarily suspended three trains that operate between New York and Washington (Trains 2401, 2402, 2403) due to lower demand and additional changes to our schedule are under consideration. Amtrak continues to operate 300 daily trains, including more than 100 daily trains on the Northeast Corridor and continues to serve all of our stations. If schedules are modified for any existing reservation, we will contact you to provide an update.

We will continue to respond to the latest on COVID‑19 with customer and employee safety top of mind. Please visit this page for further information on our efforts, which we will continually update. For additional information about the Coronavirus, visit the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website . As always, we will strive to create a safe and enjoyable experience for your Amtrak journey. Thank you for being an Amtrak customer.


Roger Harris
Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer