National Train Day is May 11. With the increasingly obvious congestion in our nation's airports, a passenger rail travel option is necessary. Amtrak's Hiawatha route, one of the busiest in the nation, provides a safe, productive, environmentally sound and energy efficient alternative to busy roads between Milwaukee and Chicago.
Amtrak ridership has been increasing rapidly during the last decade all across the national network. Reasons for increased ridership are: increasing auto fuel prices, greater commuting productivity, more modern facilities like the Milwaukee multi-modal station and an aging population wanting a safer travel option.
Greater funding for Amtrak will increase the rail network and expansion to Green Bay is part of proposed plans. Upgraded tracks are increasing train speeds. Part of the Chicago to Detroit route now travels at 110 mph.
Nearly two thirds of Americans support federal and state funding for high speed rail, according to a January 2011 Harris Poll. In addition there would be many additional jobs created by the upgrading of tracks and equipment. Just as federal funds have been a job stimulator at Marinette Marine so too could an improved Amtrak network be an economic stimulator.