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KenRail - steadfast for better train service in southeastern Wisconsin

"I firmly believe that great cities have great transit systems." -- SE Wisc. RTA Chairman Karl Ostby speaking in May, 2007 to Racine County Economic Development Corp. award dinner.Quoted by Racine Journal Times
Mister Ostby gaveled the final SE Wisconsin RTA board meeting to its close of business on Monday, 25 July 2011. The state Legislature required all Wisconsin RTAs to terminate all revenue-raising activities on a presumption that transit spending is non-essential. In his final remarks, Mister Ostby predicted another RTA will someday re-emerge.


Trains vital in southeast Wisconsin lakeshore cities

Click here for Kenosha Area Transit bus, streetcar and parking permit information.
No parking permit sales at the station, which is closed until further notice due to loss of the restaurant leasee. Allow extra time to purchase a parking permit several blocks distant.

Metra leaves modern Kenosha Metra station with weekday commiters en route to Ogilvie Transportation Center, Chicago
Kenosha's modern Metra station is convenient to harbor and youth activity centers, to downtown, and to city and county offices. Enjoy walking or bicycling along city paths and byways when weather allows.
Click on above image for information about local bus services. For fee and parking permit purchase information, click here for particulars about City of Kenosha Lot 23 parking at the Metra station.
Sturtevant Amtrak station at 9900 East Exploration Court

Schedules, transit connections for Kenosha and Racine

Our links to Metra at Kenosha, Amtrak at Sturtevant, transit serving their stations,
click here


Where to find

Kenosha Metra station

Sturtevant (suburban Racine) Amtrak station



County parks

Kenosha

Racine

City trail, lane maps

Kenosha

Racine



Midwest 110-mph

Fast train travel from/to Chicago Union Station grows, its past and current progress told here.



Click button for info aboutType of rail listed
trains

Click bottom photo for visit to National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) website

Amttrak Hiawatha Service stops at Sturtevant, at suburban Racine, seven times to Chicago and seven trains to Milwaukee, Monday through Saturday. Six each way on Sundays and legal holidays.
Parking fee is collected electronically or in cash by toll machine at the entry.

News bloc history - archive of KRM and Amtrak posted news

2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | January, 2010

Updated July 30, 2014

Comment to KenRail by e-mailing comments, complaints, or plaudits to kenrail@excite.com

Kenosha and Racine counties have both Metra commuter trains and Amtrak intercity trains operating daily in our KenRail area.

==> Amtrak Hiawatha Service schedules, click here for Sturtevant/Racine
==> Metra/Union Pacific Northline schedules, click here for Kenosha

Presently, no scheduled bus service links these two train routes. Taxi services based in Kenosha will pick up or deliver to Sturtevant station, and prefer advance arrangements with a phone call.
Bus service connects at each train station, and taxis await most Metra arrivals at Kenosha. Historic PCC streetcars also pass Kenosha's Metra station.

Sturtevant station includes convenient drive up, drop off circle and free short term parking Kenosha Area Transit bus exits transfer circle at Kenosha Metra staation7
Click on photo for more about Sturtevant or Kenosha station
Photos loaned to KenRail by Norman Siler, webmaster

Sturtevant has seven northward and seven southward Amtrak Hiawatha Service trains, Monday-Saturday, operating between Milwaukee and Chicago; six in each direction on Sunday and legal holidays. Contact Amtrak via this link or by phone at 1-800/USA-RAIL (800/872-7245).

For local Racine B.U.S. service past the Village of Sturtevant Amtrak station, 9900 E. Exploration Court, and automated parking fee information, see the Sturtevant transit page, click here. Belle Urban System routes converge at a transfer center adjoining Racine's train station, at 1421 State Street. Contact the B.U.S. online or by phone at 262-637-9000.

Wisconsin Coach connects Racine B.U.S. hub to Kenosha and Metra, to Mitchell International Airport and downtown Milwaukee. No service to Amtrak station in Sturtevant. Call 800-236-2015 or visit its website for routes, fares and schedules.

Kenosha station for Metra trains originates nine weekday trains, 5:50 AM to 11:35 PM. Nine trains arrive Monday-Friday between 2:15 AM and 11:15 PM. Saturday, Sunday and holidays schedule fewer trains. Contact Metra at this link or by phone at 1-312/322-6777.

Kenosha Transit buses connect at the Joseph McCarthy Transit Center, four blocks east of the Metra station (5414 13th Ave.), and buses pass the station near train times during the day. Check Kenosha Area Transit bus and streetcar schedules online or by phone, 262/653-4BUS (653-4287).

Historic PCC streetcars circulate everyday past the Metra station, downtown retailers and venues, past three museums, and beside the harbor channel. They are popular sightseeing enjoyment for young and old, and on special occasions are crowded. An estimated 4,000 plus rode them on Independence Day, 2014.

Wisconsin Coach buses link Kenosha to Racine and downtown Milwaukee via State Hwy 32 and Mitchell International Airport (MKE). Visit Wisconsin Coach website or call 1-800-236-2015 for schedule, fare and route details.

Click here for linking to Wisconsin public transit referrals by APTA, the American Public Transit Association, at its listing for all seeking to escape high gas prices by switching to public transit.

Presidents Conference Car streetcars once trundled urban thoroughfares throughout USA and overseas. Kenosha Transit operates one of six classic PCCs along a two-mile 'circulator' system through Harborpark and downtown, past the new Kenosha Public Museum, McCarthy Transit Center and Metra station. They are a popular attraction for day-trippers, for youngsters and grandparents alike, as well as practical for Harborpark residents and museum visitors. Their busiest day of 2002 is depicted in these scenes from the Harborpark district, on July Fourth as evening approached and fireworks were imminent, via this link.
Visit the Kenosha Streetcar Society website for more specifics and Kenosha Transit web page for current fare and hours of operation.

X2000 tour mug - July 1993 KRM, a partial history - In 1994 efforts in Kenosha to gain an Amtrak Hiawatha Service stop were rebuffed by a study funded by Amtrak and endorsed by Wisconsin DOT, which foresaw expansion of train travel following April, 1992 voter approval for funding train projects amd operational services. More stops along the 86-mile Milwaukee-Chicago route were not compatible. When interest was voiced in Racine for restoring train service for commuting, an ad hoc group including Mayor N. Owen Davies began exploring prospects, and he turned to KenRail as one of several advocacy groups. A cluster of interest also emerged in Cudahy.
Sporadic meetings on Saturday mornings were hosted by Mayor Jim Smith, successor to Davies, as the circle of interested persons swelled. By late 1996, sufficient interest was active to enlist SouthEastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) for study of commuter train feasibility in the lakeshore neighborhoods of Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee counties. (The sequence purposely chosen to differentiate from the bygone interurban trains on a nearby route which was named M-R-K. It ceased lakeshore operations in 1949, and was fondly remembered by its handful of former commuters.) When the feasibility study reported favorably, elected officials of the prinicpal cities and respective counties, notably Kenosha County Executive Allan Kehl, acted accordingly and were joined by private sector supporters, including major employers in Racine such as S.C. Johnson Co.
A few paragraphs originally posted here and linked to further history of KRM now are posted separately here.

Midwest high speed rail - Tracks converging on Chicago make it the logical hub for a Midwest regional array of 110-mph trains. Wisconsin DOT took a leading role among the Midwest states from the mid-1990s until 2010, striving for a cost-effective Midwest train service counterpart to the NorthEast Corridor and to Caltrans ambitions for 220-mph trains. At a March, 2004 convention of Illinois ARP attended by train boosters from other Midwest states, former Milwaukee mayor John Norquist, speaking as president of Congress for New Urbanism, emphasized the interplay among several key facets of urban and metropolitan growth with transportation, and continued the day's theme: the vital role trains take in the blend of modes which together offer "seamless" travel in most G-7 nations. Highlights of the March 20, 2004 gathering are linked here.

Fast trains crisscrossed Wisconsin more than sixty years ago. Read about the competition among three railroads and the fastest of them all, Milwaukee Road along its Chicago-Milwaukee-La Crosse-Twin Cities route. Prospects for 110 mph trains returning to it are over, and existing once-daily Amtrak Empire Builde trains may continue as Wisconsin's only Amtrak service beyond the populous Milwaukee-Chicago corridor. But the former leadership in artful design and skilled construction of fast trains remains part of Wisconsin history.
Other corridors of the Midwest Regional Rail System (MWRRS) remain in varied stages of progress, ranging from plans to connect with cities in Iowa, regular Wolverine operation up to 110-mph along certain Michigan and northeastern Indiana segments, to near completion along the high-priority Chicago-Springfield-St. Louis corridor. Midwest High Speed Rail Association (MWHSRA) offers state by state progress reports at a web page, click here.

©2014 KenRail for all material, except as attributed otherwise. Contact us with an e-mail to KenRail.


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