Sunday, June 29, 2008

KRM - Rail service is unreliable or Madison to Milwaukee in 6 hours 44 minutes

Belling and Wiggy shouldn't get all the fun. My turn to weigh in on the proposed Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter train line.

This paragraph is from Belling's column.
If the transportation nightmare caused by the flood-related closing of Interstate 94 proves anything it is that car and truck transportation is a region’s economic and social lifeline. When "you can’t get there from here" becomes reality, it not only inconveniences hundreds of thousands of people, it can disrupt businesses and put communities in chaos (how would you like to live on the Highway 83 "detour" right now?).
Belling's tipsters failed him this time. He does not address one other aspect of the flood that makes train travel an even bigger loser. As demonstrated by the response to high water along I-94, car and truck travel can be inconveniently diverted to other roads so travel can be completed. Not so with rail.

The Amtrak run through Waukesha County has been shut down for three weeks due to high water undermining rail lines through Brookfield.

No way around it for rail travel. No detours, just close up shop.

Well, not quite. Those enterprising managers at Amtrak did find a way to bypass their unusable train tracks. They are putting their customers from Madison on the bus. To Chicago. So they can ride the train to Milwaukee.

The shortest duration offered for that trip: 6 hours 44 minutes.

I hadn't read about that in the KRMilwaukee Journal-Sentinel.