Mark Attanasio and friends probably smiled a bit last Wednesday, after President Obama announced $810 million in stimulus money to build a high-speed rail system in Milwaukee over the next 6 years. The grandiose plan is to someday connect Chicago to Milwaukee, and then Milwaukee to Madison and, perhaps, the Twin Cities.
Wow…watch the Cubs’ series and Twins’ series become “super double-double marquee” games.
The exact details are still being discussed in Madison and points east, south, and north–including the exact route and the rail stops. In all likelihood, there will be some sort of system from Kenosha to downtown Milwaukee, and then from Milwaukee to Madison…and the Brewers would love to have nothing more than a stop at Miller Park (well, okay, maybe a 6-year deal in place with Prince would come ahead of a rail stop).
Stops mentioned thus far include Brookfield, Oconomowoc, Watertown and Madison–located on existing rail north of the Interstate. Still, if I am reading Google Maps correctly, there is an existing rail line just a 1/2 mile or so east of the stadium by S. 44th, that also winds around the stadium to the north. Obviously, if this is the route chosen, having the first stop after the Downtown stop being at Miller Park will not only help the Brewers, it would help area businesses (bars and restaurants), ease pre-game and post-game traffic congestion on I-94, and reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road. Of course, going by train would mean no tailgating…but then less time cleaning up the parking lot for city workers.
The cost may be prohibitive–one article (which I can no longer locate) speculated that the cost of a trip would be in the $40 range (I think that was from Dane County Airport in Madison to downtown Milwaukee). Personally, I think that would be bit much from Madison to Miller Park (or from Racine to Miller Park)–certainly $25 would be more affordable…of course, the time savings and the “scenery” would help enhance the experience…especially if they sold MGD on the railcars.