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A WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SPEAKER will provide the latest
update on planning for the new passenger train service to Madison at a
ProRail meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, at the Middleton Public
Library.

(Note: This meeting originally was announced for the Sequoya Branch Library
in Madison.)

The speaker will be Donna Brown, Passenger Rail Planning Manager for the
Wisconsin Department of Transportation, There will be opportunities for
questions.

There is no admission fee and reservations are not required.  Seating will
be first come first served.

PRORAIL HAS RESPONDED TO THE MADISON CITY COUNCIL DECISION APRIL 20 to eliminate an airport location for a train station from further Council consideration.  In a statement issued after the meeting, she said: 

“ProRail regrets the City Council action Tuesday night eliminating from its consideration a train station located at the airport. 

"As long-time intercity train riders and advocates for those in our area who use intercity trains, we continue to believe an airport location offers the most benefits to the most rail passengers who will use the station.  

"The majority of them will come from outside the city.  They have a stake in this decision, as well. 

"This is not just Madison-Milwaukee service or commuter rail.  These trains will connect those in our area with 1,000 other rail destinations throughout North America.  Many of those passengers will be traveling with luggage on multi-day trips.  

"A big selling point of this service also is the speed of the trains -- eventually 110  mph.  Speed for those traveling to points between Chicago and the Twin Cities already is being compromised to include Madison on the route; there is a faster route that does not include Madison.  Going downtown only adds more delay, and makes the service more convenient only for a minority of users. 

"As we explain on our Web site at prorail.com, we vote in favor of the site with the most benefits for the most people who will use these trains.  We support the airport location." 

You can read the Wisconsin State Journal’s April 21 account of the Council meeting here.

The newspaper also called in an April 21 editorial for a station site that would serve the most riders, keeping in mind many riders will only be traveling through Madison. 
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The ProRail Board April 15 elected new officers for the current year,   

Nona Hill replaces Keith Plasterer, who was filling an expired term until a successor could be elected.  Nona has been serving as Treasurer, a position which now will be filled by Board member Clark Johnson.  Keith remains on the Board. 

Elected Vice President was another Board member, Ron Wolfe.  The position had been vacant.  Re-elected to their present positions were Judy Siegfried  as Secretary and Royce Williams with Membership responsibilities.

 

SMALLER COMMUNITIES WILL BENEFIT FROM HIGH-SPEED RAIL as local leaders along Minnesota's "River Route" explain in this new 4-min. 19-sec. video from OnBoard Midwest.

PRORAIL IS 25 YEARS OLD THIS YEAR, closer than ever to realizing its vision from the start to restore passenger train service to and from Madison.  

Founded in January 1985, Prorail is celebrating in a variety of ways, starting with a re-launch of this wholly-redesigned Web site which also replaces another site used in recent years at the Community Pages at Madison.com

We’ve also pleased to join the Facebook community, where Facebook users can find out what we’re doing and can interact with us via the message comment feature.  Whether you’re on Facebook or not, you can find us at http://tinyurl.com/prorailfacebook  (If on Facebook, you also can search for us from your personal page simply using our name.) 

Supplementing both of these digital faces of ProRail is:

-- Our Rail Matters Web page on Twitter at http://twitter.com/railmatters   You also can read our latest posts there at the ProRail.com homepage.

-- ProRail Travel at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/prorailtravel   This interactive Web site is a place to go to ask your rail travel questions and offer advice to others. 

-- ProRail Action at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/prorailaction   This is the place for those willing to advocate for rail passengers, and explains how you can help promote passenger rail and find a variety of resources to help you do that

Each of these Web sites offer different features and benefits, and help us reach ever more passenger rail users and supporters.  

We'll have news here soon about other ways ProRail will be observing its 25th anniversary during 2010, and preparing for an exciting  next quarter-century.

THE STATE OF MINNESOTA HAS RELEASED ITS FIRST-EVER COMPREHENSIVE RAIL PLAN, setting the stage for planned multiple fast trains in daily service between the Twin Cities and Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and other intermediate points.  

It will have major influence on the debate over and design of the northern part of the Chicago-Twin Cities route. It also proposes the Twin Cities as not just the northern terminus of Chicago-Twin Cities rail travel, but as a passenger rail hub with other trains to and from Eau Claire (Wis.), Duluth, St. Cloud and other Minnesota communities, and perhaps even Winnipeg.  

Click here for the news account and to view reader comments, here for a map showing the routes and their priority, and here for the plan and information about public hearings on it.