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November 27, 2007



Very good article. I think it is a much needed revamp, and agree that the building does look fantastic.

In addition I think that if you give people great coffee and great music while riding, they might just leave their cars behind.

Just wondering if you knew, will rates being going up as a result?


I think the new station looks great and overall I'm glad they did it. That being said, let me go off for a minute on the crappiness that is Amtrak...

Your post gave me the idea of taking the train to Minneapolis for an Ugly Sweater Christmas Party I am going to. So I went to the website to see what it would cost and how long it would take. The ticket would be $130 (round trip)!!! On top of that the ride is 6 1/2 hours one way. That assumes there are no delays. If you've ever been on Amtrak you know that you'll have a delay.

I'm sorry, but the facade of the building is important, but the actual product that is sold is more important. I'll take a dumpy looking train station where the trains actually are reasonably priced and they get you to where you want to be on time over something that looks great and has awful service.

Here's my main question...who is paying for this? The customer through ticket fares, Amtrak itself, or the government (which = we pay for it)?

I've travelled in the UK and in Europe extensively via train and the difference is night and day. Why they can get it right and we can't is beyond me. The UK trains would have some delays but overall the service was so much better. The European lines are ridiculously better than what Amtrak offers. Ok that's enough for now :).


I'm so excited to see the new updates to this facility. After reading the article you linked from JS Online, I'm even more anxious to see *more* transportation in, around, to, and from Milwaukee -- let's put that new station to use.

Most major cities here and abroad (temporarily ignoring LA and its transportation woes) has some kind of network of trains, whether above ground or below, connecting each city to itself and to the surrounding areas. Living on the East Coast now, I'm spoiled -- I can get to Boston in 4 hours by bus or even less by train, Philadelphia in an hour or 2, D.C. in just a few... Milwaukee may not be as large as some other cities but it is becoming a very sought-after location, and its inaccessibility is a major downfall.

Besides transportation to and from cities as far as Chicago, Green Bay, or Mpls-St. Paul, I can't wait to see a commuter rail to/from the suburbs. How great would it be if you could commute from Waukesha, Kenosha, Racine, without having to deal with the traffic? It would not only save you gas money and save the environment some stress, you could be more productive too. My morning commute involves over an hour on a train, but I get so much work done in transit.

I didn't realize how enthusiastic I was about this topic... Yikes. Thanks for the post, K-ran. :)


Hey Karen,
Great Post. I meant to get down to the grand opening, but had to work. And I haven't had the chance to check for pictures, so, I greatly appreciate it. Setting up infrastructure like this so we can then implement things like high-speed rail downtown streetcars and the KRM line are SOOOOO vital. Amtrak sucks because it doesn't have priority over freight, and is therefore, late, often. Amtrak is heavily subsidized by the government to stay open. It's a mess.

We need high speed rail from Chicago to Milwaukee to Madison at the very least. We would have rail priority, and the high usage would drive down prices.

I checked my archives, and I wrote about this like 2 years ago.


I took the Amtrak train on Monday night to Chicago for around $40 round trip. The new station is a big improvement over the trashy hole that was there before.

It may not make sense for traveling to Minneapolis, but the train is a great value for trips to Chicago. Most hotels in Chicago charge $40 or more per night for parking anyway, plus you would have to spend some money on few gallons of gas if you drove. And the traffic down to Chicago is really bad now due to construction on I94.

The train is fast (90 minutes from downtown to downtown), smooth, and comfortable. You can fold your seat way back and the pull out a footrest from under your seat so that you can practically be flat on your back.

Plus they sell beer on the trains. What more do want?


So this is cool, I'm working my way through all the blogs I read and what do I see my pictures! very cool.

As far as the staion it is just amazingly better than it was.. Night and day. Next spring it will be even better as they further improve the streets and streetscaping.

I too took the Amtrak to Chicago and you can't tell me driving is the better option. Sit back relax, have a beer, save money, and most likely save time. Of course the Megabus isn't a bad option either round trip for less than $20 (price varies)


Wow! I wondered whatever happened to the plans announced what seems like years ago. This is first rate. We are looking more like a major league city. I'm really impressed. Great blog.

Peter Bridges

Amtrak is doing better and the Hiawatha service is a success...but this old man remembers that half a century ago, the Hiawatha ran from Milwaukee to Chicago not in 90 minutes but 75. Admittedly that was non-stop; but in any case we have far to go in this country to restore the kind of passenger train service we had decades ago, not to speak of the kind of train service other countries enjoy now.

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