Wisconsin Gov Candidate Threatens Rail Extension

Plans to expand Amtrak service from Milwaukee to Madison, Wisconsin are facing organized opposition from a political candidate with his eye on the state’s highest office. The state of Wisconsin has been awarded $810 million in stimulus funds to extend the Hiawatha line, which runs between Chicago and Milwaukee, about 80 miles to the state’s capital. The project is expected to create thousands of jobs.

But Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker has made opposition to the rail line a central tenet of his campaign, promising to stop construction if he’s elected. Carfree Chicago is working to rally readers to the project’s defense:

I’ve been looking forward to the new train service planned between Chicago and Madison, Wis. So I was disappointed to hear that Scott Walker… has launched a major attack against passenger trains in Wisconsin.

This week, he held an anti-train rally in Milwaukee and began running TV ads promising to "stop this train." He even set up a special website: http://www.NoTrain.com.

Please ask your friends in Wisconsin to show their support for passenger rail expansion.

Carfree Chicago is directing rail supporters to the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, which has issued an action alert on the topic, urging visitors to contact their elected representatives.

Also on the Network: Tacoma Tomorrow celebrates the likely passage of a pro-transit ballot measure; CincyStreetcar Blog notes that Cincinnati’s new casino developer is watching the city’s progress on its streetcar project; and The Infrastructurist wonders whether we will start to see Walk Score rankings reflected in the selling price of homes.