Friday, January 16, 2009

More ChooChoo Troubles

Evidently the Union Pacific Railroad is not pleased with KRM's plans.

The current KRM feasibility study “has deviated from our past understanding of the general principles (of how the commuter rail would operate),” Michael Payette, Union Pacific’s assistant vice president of government affairs in Chicago, wrote in the tersely worded letter sent in late December to the mayors of Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha, the county executives of Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties, and to Frank Busalacchi, secretary of the state Department of Transportation.

For example, the KRM study calls for the deferment of some capital improvements, such as the installation of a second main track along the corridor between Kenosha and Milwaukee.
Union Pacific is not agreeable to that concept,” Payette wrote.

The latest cost estimate of creating the KRM rail service is about $209 million with an annual operating cost of $12.9 million. Building a second track along the corridor would cost more than $1 million per mile over the 33-mile route, said Mark Davis, a Union Pacific spokesman based at the company’s headquarters in Omaha, Neb.

Union Pacific also is insisting that KRM pay for other infrastructure expenses such as new signals and side tracks along the corridor.

“We have to ensure we can continue to provide access to customers who are increasing freight shipments on the existing lines,” Davis said.

Adding $33++million to the front end? No problem-o!! Just raise taxes!

Another thing:

The letter was sent in "late December." The news breaks in MID-JANUARY? Kudos to the BizJournal for getting there--but what took so long?

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