MILWAUKEE – The Wisconsin DOT recently received about 1.5 million dollars to study and plan new Amtrak routes across Wisconsin. Rose Gray is the Business Relationship Director for Fox World Travel, and thinks increasing the connection Chicago and Milwaukee have to cities like Green Bay, Madison and Minneapolis-St. Paul could have lots of upsides.
“I think whenever we can get people on the move in any transportation is a good thing,” said Gray. “Take them off the road, give them some peace of mind to relax a bit instead of driving. I think its a great thing.”
Gray said she thinks train travel is a convenience but also a risk because “Amtrak is notoriously not timely.” A direct flight from Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Airport to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport already exists, and Gray thinks that will be a difficult deal to match.
“That would be a price-point situation,” explained Gray. “Maybe you’re trying to give someone a train experience, but that is a one-and-done. If you’re travelling for business I do not think a train would be the optimal way to get there.”
A train from Milwaukee to the Twin Cities already exists: The Empire Builder. The newly proposed train line would be closer in experience to the Hiawatha Service that runs from Milwaukee to Chicago.
A route from Chicago to Green Bay with stops in Milwaukee, Fond Du Lac and other cities is also on the table. Gray was open to the idea of incorporating the train into getting back and forth from a Green Bay Packers night game.
“They could do a special and put the run on for those games,” said Gray. “One thing to help with that is if they could find ways to take you from the Amtrak station to Lambeau Field. Wouldn’t it be great if when you arrive at the station, someone is standing their with your name on a plate and they whisk you away to the game?”
The funds for the studying come from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Rose Gray appears on the Fox World Travel Show on WTMJ every Saturday morning from 9-10.
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