Direct-Passenger Rail Stop in Madison, WI with Service to Chicago Metra Commuter Rail

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To: US Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin

Re: Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation 

Good afternoon,


I’m excited about new precedents in New England and California that apply to our situation in Madison and Wisconsin with Amtrak direct passenger rail service expansion.

I have been working with Amtrak directly, including Amtrak Chairman Richard Anderson and staff, to make sure Madison is not once again overlooked for direct passenger rail service from Amtrak in the form of at a minimum a Amtrak direct passenger rail stop in Madison.  


The direct Amtrak passenger rail service that UW-Madison advertises at present is not accurate. There is temporary bus service at present to Amtrak direct passenger train stops more than 30 miles from Madison in Portage or in Columbus. The City of Madison is also petitioning Amtrak for this direct passenger rail service.


I have been writing extensively on the post-2009 tragedy when Scott Walker irresponsibly temporarily rejected a noble and a worthy and now even more timely and critical upgrade of infrastructure that would provide more jobs as well as improve and secure a necessary foundation for future growth and development in Wisconsin in our changing world.

Since 2009, Milwaukee has been granted 22 daily runs between Milwaukee and Chicago with state-tax-payer funding while Madison has been continually ignored in an unfair, unjust and highly unequal manner in per-capita terms. 


New WI legislation is in place to develop direct passenger rail through Madison as well, but the WDOT shows no will to do so and is ignoring the mandate. 

Thousands of regional tax paying residents remain unserved without a direct efficient passenger train stop connecting Madison with national cultural and business centers in Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

As you may understand, millennials of climate change have no cars or in some cases only one car for very limited use because cars are prohibitively expensive and poison our environment at present, etc. According to many sources, cars with combustion engines, and buses as well, are responsible for over 50 percent of deadly carbon emissions.

Train engine technology is improving greatingly in terms of speed and reduced-to-zero emissions. 


Trains are fun to ride and offer unfurling views of our bucolic landscape as well as interesting impromptu conservations that improve aesthetics in travel. More than 50,000 passengers ride the Brunswick - Boston route monthly even without adequate infrastructure at present.


Amtrak would likely only require a 4 to 6 mile stretch with an additional set of tracks where the new passenger train from Madison may pass slower freight trains at up to 60 miles per hour. 


An approach to solving the problem with a simple suburban-like platform in Madison would cost far less than the 800 million approved in 2009.

At present in New England in a similar situation between Brunswick and Boston, Amtrak secured financing for a total bill of just over 9 million with the federal government covering 80 percent of the costs, a private investor covering approximately 12 percent and the remainder being paid with matching funds by the state.

The funding should also pay for at a minimum track upgrades, new signals, new train(s) and direct passenger train stop(s).


Sincerely,

Richard Sleder

Founder and CEO

Milllennium Building Systems

https;//www.millenniumbuildingsystems.com

 

 



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