Tuesday - August 1, 2017 5:18 am

New push to increase Amtrak service through Coulee Region

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La Crosse's Amtrak Depot La Crosse's Amtrak Depot

MnDot says stops in La Crosse are at least five years away. 

There's a new push to increase passenger rail service through the Coulee Region but that doesn't mean more stops in La Crosse any time soon.

The Minnesota Dept. of Transpotation has released a report supporting the idea of more Amtrak service between Chicago and the Twin Cities.

MnDot project director Praveena Pidiparthi says, however, that more Amtrack stops in La Crosse are at least five years away.

On Sept. 6 at the La Crosse County Administrative Center, an informational meeting by MnDot about the rail plan will take place.

Pidiparthi, director of the rail study, said the existing train schedules are not adequate to meet a growing demand for rail travel.

"It also states how the existing Empire Builder's service is reaching capacity conditions during peak travel months," she said.

The Empire Builder stops twice a day in La Crosse bound for Chicago in the morning and westbound at night.

Pidiparthi said many people living on the route should have more choices for long-distance travel.

But, she added, that increasing train service is more complicated than just adding another run of the Empire Builder each day.

"We want to think it's just adding one train. But, adding one train, adds two trains," she said. "It's a round trip."

There will also be a public meeting on the study in St. Paul.

 

Last modified on Tuesday - August 1, 2017 11:31 pm
Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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