FEATURE STORY » Get On Board: Local high-speed rail

Could the future hold a high-speed rail and transit station in downtown Eau Claire?

Emily Kuhn

I just said goodbye to my husband. He travels for work every few weeks and left for a day-long meeting in St. Paul. His mood was less-than-great. It was 6am and he was leaving the house three hours before his meeting started to ensure there was time to pick up the rental car, drive to Spring Valley, pick up a coworker, then navigate traffic into St. Paul. And from the sounds of it, he could have used either another 30 minutes to prep for the meeting or at least another 30 minutes of sleep. Instead, he had to focus on driving. Until this point I, perhaps like you, hadn’t been following the rail debate as closely as I probably should have. But having just wished my husband a safe drive to St. Paul, I asked myself whether having a train as a transportation option would have made life this morning a little easier. So now I dive in, head first, to look for answers on the status of high-speed rail in the state, city, and nation; the feasibility of it actually happening over the next few decades; and what it’ll be like to use a high-speed train from Milwaukee to the Twin Cities, and beyond.

CONTENTS:
     » The National Rail Plan
     » Wisconsin's Rail Plans
     » Deciding Between Eau CLaire and La Crosse
     » What Rail Could Do for Eau Claire
     » Why Do Rail at All?
     » The Cost Issue & Political Divide

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