Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Where's our Amtrak station?

With all the flak about mass transit in southeastern Wisconsin these days -- including the bloated Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee rail boondoggle -- it's time for a hard question: Where's the Kenosha Amtrak station?

How soon we forget.

When Harold Ripps and his cronies were wooing the State Racing Board to get the license for Dairyland Greyhound Park, one of their many promises (and one of their many unfulfilled ones) was to build an Amtrak station.

It never happened.

Now the poobahs want to spend big bucks to build a new rail line on the Union Pacific (Chicago and North Western) tracks north to Milwaukee. That line was double tracked north of Kenosha until Amtrak rolled around in 1971 and the North Western cut out northbound passenger service.

The late Congressman Les Aspin wisely proposed that Amtrak follow the lakeshore on the North Western tracks but that idea never went anywhere. Instead, Amtrak kept rolling along on the 79 mph Milwaukee Road right of way into and out of Milwaukee.

Since that time, however, two new Amtrak stations have opened in the last couple years: Sturtevant and Mitchell Field. Thus it only makes sense that Kenosha finally get its Amtrak station -- and the Dairyland people be held to their promise to build it.

That way we can forget this silly KRM mess.

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