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Winona Council expresses unanimous support for second daily train
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Winona Council expresses unanimous support for second daily train

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The Winona City Council has unanimously expressed its approval for the Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago (TCMC) Second Train.

Steve Young mug

Young 

While praising simply having a second Amtrak train running through town, councilmember and Great River Rail Commission member Steve Young called it an infrastructure upgrade.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to have incredible dollars invested,” Young said. He mentioned, too, that if the train is approved, there would be $19 million-worth of rail upgrades in Winona and $20 million-worth of rail upgrades in La Crescent.

Another benefit to having a second train is the reduced wait times, especially in chokepoints like Mankato.

George Borzyskowski mug

Borzyskowski

Councilmember George Borzyskowski described the infrastructure upgrades as a “big, big plus for Winona.”

To get to that point, though, Young added that the state legislature is being asked for $10 million to implement the train, which would fall in line with the support the federal government and Wisconsin have already pledged.

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“We’re simply waiting for Minnesota. We’ve been close before, but we appear to be quite close this time to having Minnesota pledge their $10 million,” he said.

Pam Eyden mug

Eyden

Both Young and councilmember Pam Eyden expressed particular praise for Minnesota Senate president Jeremy Miller for the support he’s demonstrated for the train by co-sponsoring a bill that would see a significant overhaul in southeast Minnesota’s rail infrastructure.

Much of the proposed improvements in the bill would help further the development of additional passenger rail service between the Twin Cities, Milwaukee and Chicago.

Jeremy Miller

Miller

“The second train would be a great addition, however, I’m most excited about the local track and signal improvements that are included in the proposal, which would benefit both freight and passenger rail,” Miller said in a statement back in mid-March.

“These upgrades would improve safety and I’m told they would also improve switching times in Winona, which would be terrific for Winona.”

Young and Eyden encouraged supporters of the second train to reach out to Miller and thank him for the work he has done.

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