The prospect of expansion of Amtrak passenger rail service between St. Paul and Chicago, with stops in Wisconsin, is very exciting to me and should be for others as well. Passenger rail is my preferred method of getting places and more options and service here in the Midwest would be good for everyone.

As a college kid, I often took the train home from Moorhead to Montana, which allowed me to nap and recuperate from finals week instead of making the long December drive across North Dakota in a ground blizzard while sleep deprived. When I lived on the East Coast, rail travel was the simplest, most pleasant way to go anywhere, and having a little bit of that convenience here in the Midwest could be great for tourism and business, providing an option for people to avoid sitting in traffic on our already crowded interstate highways. My small children have also enjoyed the magic of rail travel! Being able to move freely, have a great view of the passing landscape, have a family meal in the dining car, and get to a restroom 20 times in 10 hours without stopping are just a few of the benefits. The train makes the long trip to visit relatives an adventure in itself!

My family has been discussing a trip to Chicago this summer, and whether to fly or take the train. My vote is the train. It would be great to have more opportunities for family train trips as well as tourism and business travel between the Twin Cities and Chicago!

Johnna K. O’Neill, Rochester

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