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Amtrak service to Madison, Wisconsin - My opinion.

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Amtrak service to Madison, Wisconsin - My opinion.
Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, January 1, 2023 12:34 PM

Politicians in Madison, just will never comprehend why it keeps failing to get rail passenger service.    The problem as I see it is their interest is not consistent in seeing it happen.    It is ON again OFF again depending on if there is a chance for significant Federal Spending.    A more serious approach would be the approach Milwaukee took decades and decades ago which was to tell the state we are going to get rail passenger service one way or another.   That message was sent with one voice across political lines.    And that is what is consistently missing with the Madison application.    Additionally, there does not seem to be any depth to their planning for it or integration with other modes of transit.    Milwaukee's success is also in a Intermodal Passenger Station near downtown as well as an Airport stop at Mitchell Field Airport.      Madison proposal is for one or the other "possibly" but not necessarily.    The other issue I have is they consistently point to past failures as due to another political party instead of really looking at the reasons that political party gave and seeing if they could be addressed (ahhh, that would be compromise......missing).   

Hence I think again that this proposal is again in danger of being rejected and/or ignored.    Indeed, even the WisDOT Manager Mr Arun warned repeatedly, "this is a long road" implying it was not an overnight switch on and then switch off process (which I am sure he was referring to past ON again OFF again mood swings from Madison in regards to rail passenger service depending on who is footing the bill).    In my view this is just sad because Madison can develop car competitive rail passenger times between Milwaukee and Madison with not much in the way of spending vs other states.   I feel it could draw significant amount of riders out of their cars and shift them to rail.    Though I don't see it happening because Madison is NOT consistently for rail passenger service it's only for a "you buy and we'll fly" approach when it is offered.    Madison just needs to get serious on this and demonstrate to everyone in the room it is in it for the long haul.

https://madison.com/opinion/editorial/our-view-all-aboard-finding-the-best-place-for-amtrak-in-madison/article_45f10afb-4eb3-5337-abbd-cb2941b3a0bf.html

 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, January 1, 2023 4:04 PM

What is puzzling is CHI is completely being ignored by this editorial.  As well being able to take a train directly to MKE airport.  All those potential passengers from Madison to stations short of MKE that will not have to drive to either MKE or CHI? 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, January 1, 2023 9:32 PM

blue streak 1

What is puzzling is CHI is completely being ignored by this editorial.  As well being able to take a train directly to MKE airport.  All those potential passengers from Madison to stations short of MKE that will not have to drive to either MKE or CHI? 

This is actually their third attempt and they still have zero clue where the stations should be.   They had all this time to plan that out but see........they would have had to funded or provide a match for the studies themselves there was no freebie path.   Now that there is a freebie path its once again...."hey lets throw something together and get our share while we can".     This is why some government passenger rail spending turns into wasted money.    I'll bet if you ask they have no clue on ridership projections, how to handle the objections by Badger Bus (which are valid), etc.   How to integrate the trains with the Chicago to Milwaukee service, not mentioned either.    As soon as that $66 Billion dries up or is used once again Madison will go to sleep or table any sort of planning in this area......which is what they did before and why they are not ready now.

Some in the state think that Republicans have it out for Madison Democrats and I am sure there is some truth to that but the biggest issue here is that Madisons track record in this specific area has been horribly inconsistent with zero resilence. So people start to ask, is this really a project to spend money on?

WisARP should be chastizing Madison and it's approach.  It's not.  Instead it jumps on the same band wagon and starts to beat the drums as well.    Which is why I will never give money to them or take them seriously.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 12:28 PM

It appears WI, in both the GOP legislature and Dem executive departments, have problems.

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Posted by Gramp on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 11:11 AM

Too bad Brightline couldn't take over Chicago-Twin Cities. They would probably even see the potential in the Dells. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 12:12 PM

Gramp

Too bad Brightline couldn't take over Chicago-Twin Cities. They would probably even see the potential in the Dells. 

 
I doubt that Brightline would even consider the route since there are no real estate development opportunities for the parent company.
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 Thursday, January 5, 2023 1:34 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
I doubt that Brightline would even consider the route since there are no real estate development opportunities for the parent company.

What are the real estate development opportunities on the LA to Las Vegas line?  

I think this is a TRAINS readers forum theory more than it is reality, that Brightline needs significant real estate development opportunities before it is even interested in the rail aspect.   It has not been proven or disproven yet, it is just a floating theory.

Also there isn't much available on the Dallas to Houston line either, yet Brightline was interested in that.    Primarily between Dallas and Houston it's mostly moon scape as far as civilization is concerned.   Except for maybe College Station.

Though I would agree that Brightline would steer clear of the Midwest in general.  They seem to be focused on high population growth areas and unfortunately Midwest is stagnating in that area.

 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, January 5, 2023 7:49 AM

Trains Forum readers' theory?  I think simply an extension in thinking based on obvious strategies adopted independently by Brightline and others, including transit for many, many years. I doubt if management at Brightline got the idea from Forum and probably don't even read it.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, January 5, 2023 9:11 AM

As I recall, most of the early discussion in the financial press regarding the Fortress investment in Brightline discussed the nature of the associated real-estate 'play' (and that it was the real profitability of the exercise, with the rail service being essentially an 'enabling technology').  I don't have time to track down any sources, but they should be readily accessible.

It certainly is no railfan fantasy.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, January 5, 2023 6:28 PM

CMStPnP
What are the real estate development opportunities on the LA to Las Vegas line?  

They want to extend the route into the LA basin to a Metro stop.  The real estate development is at the end points.  Same with the Texas line.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, January 7, 2023 4:49 PM

MidlandMike
They want to extend the route into the LA basin to a Metro stop.  The real estate development is at the end points.  Same with the Texas line.

Right so looking at the proposed Texas Line if they are lucky $2 billion in RE development maybe at each end.   Line construction costs $15 billion or greater.   So I am not sure how the RE development works out for them there.    Guessing the same or similar with LA to Vegas.    They were more real estate development oriented in Florida because FEC had excellent parcels of land alongside or near the stations.    Additionally it looks like they intend to provide commute service plus express service in Florida so I see them building more stations yet.    Texas Central said emphatically no to commute service and it is one reason they faced so much opposition to local landowners who will never be able to use the service but are being told they have to give up land for it.

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