If you have ever taken Amtrak from Glenview to Milwaukee, you know that it is a quick, convenient way to reach Sturtevant, Wisconsin, Mitchell Field, or downtown Milwaukee. Travel time is slightly over one hour, which is comparable with many Metra commutes in the Chicago area.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and in partnership with Amtrak, are conducting an Environmental Assessment and Service Development Plan for service improvements on the Amtrak Hiawatha Service between Chicago and Milwaukee. The proposed service improvements include:
- Increasing daily Amtrak Hiawatha Service frequencies from the current seven round-trips to 10 round-trips.
- Reducing travel times, potentially through an increase in maximum speed to 90 mph between Rondout, Illinois, and the General Mitchell International Airport (GMIA).
The Hiawatha service has one of the best on time performance rates in Amtrak’s system, and highest ridership of any Amtrak service outside the east and west coasts. In 2016, ridership on the line was 815,196, a 2.4% increase over 2015. The route is supported by Wisconsin and Illinois, with 75% of funding coming from Wisconsin, and 25% from Illinois.
The Environmental Assessment and Service Development Plan are as follows:
- Final Environmental Analysis (Early 2018)
- Finding of No Significant Impact prepared (Mid 2018)
- Service Development Plan (Early 2018)
For more information about the study, visit the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s website at www.wisconsindot.gov, and click on the Projects and Studies Tab.