While putting the kabosh on more expensive rail projects, Gov. Scott Walker asked for a more responsible $150 million in federal transit aid to upgrade the Milwaukee-Chicago Amtrak Hiawatha train service -- six round trips daily supported by Wisconsin and Illinois taxpayers.
The feds told Wisconsin to take a hike. Big mistake.
The KRM rail debacle -- which has been documented here in the past -- ended (thankfully) with the change in administrations in Madison. This made upgrading the Hiawatha service even more compelling.
The Chicago-to-Milwaukee Hiawatha service operates on 79 mph track. New stations were added a few years ago at Mitchell Field and Sturtevant. Stations are needed in Kenosha and probably Caledonia. In fact, Kenosha was promised an Amtrak station in 1990 as part of Dairyland Greyhound Park's license application. We never got it. It was a good idea then and an even better one now.
Gov. Walker has been a polarizing figure since he took office in January. Nonetheless even a broken watch is correct twice a day and Walker's modest request -- probably too modest as it did not include stations in Kenosha and Caledonia -- should have been granted.