Tuesday, January 10, 2012

West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition opposition to

Here's something that was just posted by the West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition regarding the planned routing of Chicago to Twin Cities trains via La Crosse and up the Mississippi River.  They'd prefer to see a route go through the Eau Claire area instead.
Wednesday, January 11
10:00 a.m., Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce

The West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition will hold a Press Conference to release details of its request to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) that the federal agency reject a preliminary recommendation drafted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation to select the existing Amtrak line via La Crosse as the sole route to be considered for future High Speed Rail between Chicago, Milwaukee and the Twin Cities.
The Coalition will present evidence that Wisconsin citizens were inappropriately left out of the decision making process; that the report contains serious errors, omissions and inconsistencies that adversely affected consideration of routes via West Central Wisconsin, and that the report’s conclusion designating only one route is not supported by the actual details in the report itself. Leaders of the Coalition assert that the West Central Wisconsin route is still very viable as a route for passenger rail service, and that this decision is too important for it to be made by the transportation department of another state.
Thursday, January 12, is the final day for the public to comment on the report’s preliminary recommendation, so the Coalition is seeking to get information out to citizens who may wish to provide their own input to MnDOT/FRA.
More information on the study: Project website
The public may submit comments by (deadline January 12):
• Email: MWRRIPhase7@state.mn.us
• Fax: 651-366-4248
• Phone (leaving a recorded message): 651-366-3199
• Mail: Minnesota Department of Transportation
Passenger Rail Office
Mail Stop 480
395 John Ireland Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55155

Reminds me that I've been forgetting to send in some comments....

It is rather nice to see YIMBY rather than NIMBY attitudes on something for once, though after more than two decades of studying the issue over and over, I just want to see something built.  I suspect I share many of their concerns, and it'll be interesting to see what they come up with.  My personal opinion is that Minnesota, Wisconsin, and other nearby states really deserve a mesh of rail services rather than just a simple few lines or a modest hub-and-spoke layout.  Eau Claire is included in Mn/DOT's 20-year rail plan, and it should have been in Wisconsin's plan as well (though as far as I can tell, that effort was canceled once Governor NoTrain.com took office).

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