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Kenosha - Racine - Milwaukee ex-C&NW line service proposed again (METRA UP - North Line)

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Kenosha - Racine - Milwaukee ex-C&NW line service proposed again (METRA UP - North Line)
Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, June 5, 2021 6:11 AM

Here we go again, from TRAINS Newswire........

"City council members in Racine, Wis., are calling for revival of a long-dead plan to create a Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter rail line, citing the potential availability of infrastructure funds from President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan. The Racine Journal-Times reports all 15 of the city’s aldermen asked to be included as co-sponsors of a resolution supporting the project, which dates to the 1990s and has failed in previous incarnations over inability to obtain state funding......"

I don't think it is going anywhere either.   In Wisconsin they have been trying to establish a regional rail authority dating all the way back to 1971 attempts to preserve the Milwaukee to Watertown former Milwaukee Road CannonBall run.    The Milwaukee Metro area is just hostile to any form of regional rail system outside of the Chicago Hiawatha service.    The predominant view is the subsidies would eat the State or Milwaukee Metro area alive and the system itself would not carry a lot of passengers.      I think they should attempt possibly a short demo to find out but even that would be very costly to bring the track back up to the standards it had when C&NW was running the service.     Milwaukee earlier purchased the land under which the ex-C&NW rail line connected with the line into the Amtrak Depot in Milwaukee (I believe the rail connection there is now removed)...........so even Milwaukee has this dream that someday the service will come back.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Saturday, June 5, 2021 8:25 AM

It would be great if some of the Chi-Mke corridor trains were on the old CNW line, restored.  Serves more communities that way.   Call it 400 Service!!  

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, June 5, 2021 10:02 AM

The former C&NW passenger line would need some heavy rebuilding north of Kenosha.  Much of that line also goes through the middle of a lot of expensive suburbs, which would lead to a fair number of speed restrictions.  Additional stops would also reduce overall speed and might not bring in that many additional passengers.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, June 5, 2021 10:08 AM

charlie hebdo
It would be great if some of the Chi-Mke corridor trains were on the old CNW line, restored.  Serves more communities that way.   Call it 400 Service!!  

I think so too but it's been tried repeatedly, last attempt in 2011 for the Kenosha line as KRM Commuter.......prior to that it was floated under the Southeastern Wisconsin Planning Commission.   

For the Milwaukee West Line to Watertown they got Federal Funds twice for demostration projects, once in the 1980's to run a SPV-2000 and Milwaukee Road Coach on Milwaukee to Watertown.....they could only get $50,000 from the Feds for that and it lasted only two weeks.    Then again post 2000 for I-94 reconstruction they extended the Hiawatha Service to Watertown for limited frequencies.   In both cases it was hardly a demo and both were poorly advertised but they both had fairly good ridership.    The Milwaukee Road ran the Commutter service 1 year past Amtrak all the while the Mayor of Milwaukee was attempting to get the Western Suburbs interested but not much progress and a alleged Cement truck hit the North Avenue wooden trestle in May of 1972 in Brookfield and knocked it out of alignment.   Evening train flew off the tracks there and that was the end of the CannonBall.    It's equipment wrecked and the railroad feeling it was a narrow miss with mass lawsuits.

The ex-C&NW right of way North of the former Lakefront Station (Arts Center approx) would make a very valuable light rail express line.   Some of the apartments on the bluff overlooking the lake have staircases down to the former right of way (potential stops for light rail) and then continue down to the lake level.    After it climbs the bluff it first becomes a below street line then elevates to above street line.   It gets real close to the UW-Milwaukee campus, then heads out of the city in a slightly NW direction.   Very few at grade crossings on it.    Hopefully the city realizes that ROW is an asset waiting to be developed.

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