Chicago/Milwaukee Commuter Rail Extension
(Chapters 9-13)

9. Milwaukee Station

The Milwaukee Amtrak station is on the CP/Soo/Milwaukee Road line.

10. Capital Costs

From Kenosha (MP 51.6) to Racine (MP 60.5) is almost 9 miles. The area from 52 to 84 needs to be rehabbed by:....

A tamper is a machine that rides the rail and picks them up and tamps down the ballast, measures the track geometry and lines the rails. An undercutter goes the rail in the ties, scrapes out all the ballasts and dirt underneath. Then it filters the dirt through conveyor belts by the use of conveyor belts. Different screens separate the ballast from the mud. The mud is deposited to the side of the right-of-way. The ballast is reapplied to the tracks. The tamper runs behind that. The secret in servicing is to provide drainage. If drainage is poor, the ballast becomes "foul." As the trains pass over it, mud is "pumped" up through the ballast and covers over the ballast from the top. That destabilizes the track structure and causes surfacing and alignment problems. The result is low spots, low joints and a bumpy ride. Low spots, low joints and a rocky ride.

Union Pacific.....

Ten years ago people were pessimistic about the future of commuter rail. In 1984, the 3rd track on the Kenosha sub was pulled out between Deering interlocking (just North of Clybourn) and Canal tower (in Evanston near Green Bay and Noyes). A 4 bedroom house in Kenosha at $140,000 would cost $300,000 in Deerfield so people move to Kenosha and work at Abbott and locations South.

When trains go faster, commuter territory expands. Until 1971, the "400" stopped in Milwaukee, Kenosha, Waukegan and Chicago. The Kenosha-Chicago took only 45 minutes. The C&NW used to run trains (90 mph) between Milwaukee and Chicago. Between Evanston and Chicago there was a third track. For historical reasons, the C&NW disinvested in the Kenosha sub. It is a slow speed bulk railroad. Now trains can't get around locals. trains must leave first with locals behind them. Before 1984, locals went first. The with the private or club cars went second. The would beat the local to Evanston and precede the local from there North. Both went to Kenosha.

Increased traffic congestion is a major reason for expanding North-South commuter rail parallel to I-94. WisDOT says 1/4 of Milwaukee households.....

Kenosha and Racine are traffic anchors. Large employers include:

    Great Lakes
    Abbott (North Chicago)
    Chrysler (Kenosha)
    Case (Racine)
    Johnson Wax (Racine)
    Western Publishing (Racine)

11. Demonstrations

12. Financing

.....Wisconsin currently finances transportation as follows:

The legislature should modify Wisconsin law....

The Kenosha Sub is underutilized for freight purposes. The UP....Extending commuter service from Kenosha north to Milwaukee would have many benefits:....

Possible organizational arrangements are:....

13. Wisconsin RTA.

The RTA created in 1993 included the following counties:


Nine members were appointed by the Governor with each county having at least one appointee. On 8/21/92, WISRTA proposed a seven county 0.4% sales tax and 5�/gallon gasoline tax to raise $89 million annually for bus, highway and other transit. The RTA Board vote was 8-1 with rural Walworth county dissenting because it has no transit problems. 80% of money would go back to the counties where it was raised. Six county boards (all except Milwaukee) voted against the RTA. The Waukesha County Board rejected the RTA 18-14 on grounds that it would favor light rail. The RTA was defeated 29- 3 in Racine County. Six county boards defeated the RTA. Only Milwaukee County did not defeat the RTA but its resolution did not propose funding. Because the RTA failed....

Go to Chicago/Milwaukee Commuter Rail Extension Survey Table of Contents

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