WINONA, Minn. (WXOW) — Advocates travelled to Milwaukee on Amtrak’s Empire Builder to learn more about passenger rail travel and the need for it as they push for a second train.
The Empire Builder travels about 411 miles from the Twin Cities, through Milwaukee to Chicago and passengers are often met with arrival and departure delays.
Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago Intercity Passenger Rail Project (TCMC) would add a second train on the route providing many benefits like mitigating the delays and doubling the capacity.
“We know that passenger rail has really significant impacts when we’re thinking about climate mitigations, there’s significantly less carbon produced by passenger rail and more people can move,” Great River Rail Commission Chair Trista Matas Castillo said. “We can use it as reliable safe transit, people can continue to work on the train.”
Mayor of Winona Scott Sherman spoke with those travelling and said it would benefit the whole town.
“We believe that’ll increase commuter-ship through Winona, then we have three colleges here in Winona – we believe it’ll help with the college students getting back and forth from school,” Mayor Sherman said. “Then also there are daily commuters that use the train and it has been difficult based on the schedule of one train coming through each day.”
Additionally, he added that Winona would receive around $14 million in improvements to train crossings.
According to James, the project is still looking for about $500,000 but he hopes they’ll be able to start construction in 2023.
To keep up to date about the TCMC project click here.
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