Friday, January 29, 2010

High-speed Passenger Details

Here's more information on high-speed passenger rail service from Madison to Milwaukee (and Beyond!). I emphasize the 'beyond' because this service will not just be about taking the train from Madison to Milwaukee, but probably more importantly connecting to passenger service to major Midwestern cities like Chicago (good-bye Northwest Tollway! - err, Jane Addams Memorial Tollway).

Another point to note: The Wisconsin effort is part of a long-standing larger Midwestern effort called the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative (MWRRI).

The following is an excerpt from the overview section of Wisconsin Department of Transportation's application for funding to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The overview is at:

[Begin excerpt]:Main features and characteristics of the Corridor Service

Wisconsin's corridor service plan (together with Illinois and Minnesota) is to implement 110 mph passenger rail service between Chicago-Milwaukee-Minneapolis/St. Paul and Chicago-Milwaukee-Green Bay. The implementation of this corridor service is planned in phases, which are consistent with the Midwest Regional Rail System (MWRRS) phases:

Phase 1 of corridor service plan: Milwaukee-Madison (Extension of Chicago-Milwaukee)
-Initially 7 round-trips between Chicago and Milwaukee with 6 continuing on to Madison in 2013 (Final design and construction applied for October 2, 2009 HISPR Track 2, project 5 on table).
-Increase to 10 round-trips between Chicago and Milwaukee with 6 continuing on to Madison upon completion of improvements between Chicago and Milwaukee. This includes three track 1a improvements (see project table).

The other improvements will be applied for in 2010 following completion of the Service Level NEPA. Phase 2 of corridor service plan: Milwaukee-Minneapolis/St. Paul
-10 round-trips between Chicago and Madison, with 6 round-trips extending to Minneapolis/St. Paul (via Madison route alignment depends on results of Service Level NEPA study. Funding for Service Level NEPA applied for August, 2009 HISPR Track 3 by Minnesota)

 Phase 3 of corridor service plan: Chicago-Milwaukee-Green Bay-Increase to 17 round-trips between Chicago and Milwaukee with 7 continuing on to Green Bay-Increase speed between Chicago and Milwaukee to 110 mph

Existing passenger service operating over the area of the corridor service plan as defined above includes Amtrak Hiawatha Service with 7 round-trips per day between Chicago and Milwaukee, and Amtrak Empire Builder with one round-trip per day between Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Madison and Green Bay currently have no rail service.

Implementation of the corridor service plan could potentially serve most of the Wisconsin's most populous and fastest-growing regions. Approximately 76% of Wisconsin's total population lives within 30 miles of proposed Midwest Regional Rail System stations.

Based on MWRRS, Wisconsin service characteristics include:
Travel Time:
- Chicago to Milwaukee: Existing = 1:29 / 2020 = 1:05
- Milwaukee to Madison: Existing = N/A / 2013: 1:14 (1:09-Express)
- Chicago to Minneapolis/St. Paul: Existing = 8:37 / 2020 = 5:37
- Chicago to Green Bay: Existing = N/A / 2020 = 2:58

The participating states of this corridor service plan, which include Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota, have a long history of coordination and cooperation, which will continue with the implementation and operation of the corridor service.
The Midwest Regional Rail System (MWRRS) has been under development since 1995, when the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri in partnership with the FRA and Amtrak, began to evaluate the potential for high speed rail in the Midwest."

[End of excerpt]


If this post doesn't do it for you, then you can find enough info for even the frothiest foamer at:

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