Chippewa-St. Croix Rail Commission to form
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Passenger rail service from Minnesota to the Chippewa Valley will soon be one step closer to becoming a reality.
The Chippewa-St. Croix Rail Commission will be forming within the next few weeks according to West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition Chair Scott Rogers. The coalition is spearheading efforts to create a passenger rail line from St. Paul, Minn. to the Chippewa Valley along the Interstate 94 corridor.
The commission can be created as more than eight Wisconsin cities and counties, including Eau Claire and Altoona, have agreed to join the effort. Once formed, it will be the public side of a public-private partnership that would create and operate the rail system.
Rogers said the project is key to Eau Claire’s economic future.
“We’ve had a lot of interest in people moving to communities like our and it can help them be even more competitive and attractive if not only can you drive and have good highway access but if you can also get on a train and get back and forth,” he said.
Rogers said it will be at least three to five years before passenger rail service could begin. He said the train could eventually be part of a greater system to connect the Twin Cities, Madison and Chicago.
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