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Everyone is excited about the possibility of Amtrak passenger rail coming to Madison, but where would we put the station?

This is a question the Common Council seeks to answer tonight as they move forward funds for a Passenger Rail Station Location Study. This $120,000 study will be introduced on the Common Council Agenda Tuesday night, May 10. Restoring passenger rail service to Madison is a key initiative of the Mayor’s administration, and the resolution is being sponsored by Alders Foster, Furman, Harrington-McKinney, Heck and Myadze.

“The recently passed federal Bi-partisan Infrastructure Law includes unprecedented funding for passenger rail expansion, over a 500% increase. With this study, the City of Madison hopes to capitalize on this opportunity to partner with state and federal agencies, as well as Amtrak, to identify a locally preferred passenger rail station that could be used in a future extension of Amtrak’s highly successful Hiawatha service to Madison,” said Mayor Rhodes-Conway.

The study will build on several passenger rail studies released in 2021. Amtrak’s Connects US plan recommends extending the Hiawatha service to Madison with four daily trips. The US DOT’s 2021 Midwest Regional Rail Plan recommends passenger rail service to Madison because it is a significant market “critical to operational viability of the Core Express corridor between Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul” and that it should be “included on any mainline route alignment.”

The selected consultant, HNTB, will evaluate past passenger rail station location studies, update background data, and work with the city with a public engagement process. It is hope the results of the study will be completed by early 2023.


  • Katie Crawley, 608-266-4611