Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oconomowoc, Watertown Want Midwest High-Speed Rail

The 110 mph Interurban rail line to Chicago used to stop in Western Waukesha County, so the support from these communities has historical roots, too.

1 comment:

Stephen Karlson said...

Although The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company did offer electric cars to Watertown with a connecting bus to Madison, until 1939, that service was not 110 mph service, nor was it operated by the North Shore Line, where trains did occasionally come close to 90, and a test run did achieve 110.

The Hiawathas on the Milwaukee Road, a steam railroad, did routinely make those speeds, although only the Morning Hiawatha made a Watertown stop. The through service to Madison couldn't go much faster than 60 west of Watertown.

Details aside, I'm pleased to see you noting the history. High speed rail does not have to involve expensive infrastructure and French electric trains. Changes in the Federal Railroad Administration's rules and a few incremental improvements in existing locomotives and track might be sufficient in the Midwest. That's a point worth repeating to policy makers.