Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Rick Murphy: No Madison stop for Twin Cities train

Murphy sounds like Scrooge, the wise benevolent Scrooge we find at the conclusion of Dickens’ classic.

His letter to the editor in the Madison, Wisconsin newspaper, The Capital Times, reeks of understanding. Murphy also shows a keen appreciation of the Midwest High Speed Rail Initiative.  As the Rolling Stones once said, “You can’t always get what you want.”

Increasing speeds to 110 mph on portions of the existing main line via Columbus is certainly possible; that line saw 100 mph trains as early as the 1930s.

The line between Watertown and Madison is another story; it was built as a secondary line and, even with improved track, it’s likely that 79 mph (another Federal Railroad Administration speed limit) would be the top possible speed.

The limitations are even more severe between Madison and Portage; this route was built as a low-speed branch line and wouldn ‘t even allow 79 mph.

Further, safety concerns may dictate that trains be limited to 30 mph or so for their lengthy run within Madison city limits.

The end result: With the lower speeds and the increased mileage through Madison, the travel time between Chicago, Milwaukee and the Twin Cities would be much longer than it could or should be, and this would defeat the greater purpose.

Filed under: Regional USA Passenger Rail, Uncategorized

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