28.1.10

THE ON WISCONSIN AND THE CANNONBALL WILL ROLL AGAIN. The Milwaukee to Madison portion of the proposed faster passenger train service linking Chicago to the Twin Cities receives funding. Midwest High Speed Rail has a summary of the winning proposals, and California High Speed Rail offers commentary, and hosts an active bull session, on the projects. Cold Spring Shops notes with pleasure that Wisconsin transportation officials were not counting unhatched chickens. Brookfield will get its station, as will Watertown and Oconomowoc. With driving times from Lake-Cook Road into central Chicago frequently exceeding one hour, a faster train serving the Lake District might attract residents seeking to do business or shop in Chicago. Additional late-evening frequencies ought to be part of the plan. I'm not troubled by the relatively slow (by German or Chinese standards) top speeds.
It's also doable with the current infrastructure, and a train service that included a few additional stops (Gurnee for Great America, Rondout for transfers to the suburban trains) would not be able to exploit 150 or 200 mph capabilities anyway. A 62 minute timing [Milwaukee downtown to Chicago Union Station] with stops at Airport, Sturtevant, Gurnee, Rondout and Glenview and 110 mph maximum speeds is feasible, at least on my computer.
If the service that our tax dollars pays for does not involve better connectivity in Chicago, however, I will not be pleased. And I must remind readers that The Milwaukee Road was toying with 60 minute non-stop timings on the Hiawathas and selected Milwaukee-Chicago trains in 1938-1939.

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