Mark Peterson Opinion: Second Train will benefit Winona, Minnesota

By Mark Peterson, Winona Daily News; April 19, 2019

Those of you who know me well are aware of my life-long passion for history. It was my major in college. It has been my vocation at the Winona County Historical Society. I even taught it at Winona State University. History is important — we really can learn from our past experiences to help shape a better future.

A few people look at the idea of expanding passenger rail service as a nostalgic throwback to yesteryear. They wonder who would even ride a train anymore. Well, here in Winona, quite a few people do, and that’s on a service — the Amtrak Empire Builder — that is sometimes late as it comes from the west. Approximately 120,000 trips are taken annually between the Twin Cities and Chicago currently. Last year, more than 14,000 boardings took place here in Winona. Every year nearly 10 million trips are taken between the Twin Cities and Chicago by car, plane and train. There is demand. And there are people who don’t want to take a plane or a car to get to where they are going.

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