Intercity Rail Would Bridge Minnesota's So-called" Rural-Urban Divide"

Streets.MN - February 24, 2020


A few months ago, I was privileged to be a guest lecturer for a colleague’s environmental sociology course at the UW-La Crosse. For those unfamiliar, La Crosse, Wisconsin is one of the larger small cities in the region. It’s a city with a metro area of about 130,000 people located in a magnificent spot on the Mississippi River, just on the north end of the Driftless Region, which is one of my favorite parts of the country. The city has a long and interesting history, an historic downtown, and an industrial legacy that makes it an interesting place to visit.

Best of all for this story, it’s one of the few cities anywhere on earth that is conveniently linked to Saint Paul by passenger rail. Each day, once in each direction, one of the few remaining Amtrak long-distance trains stops there on its way to Milwaukee and Chicago. The trip is a beautiful journey through the Mississippi River valley and, at the behest of my La Crosse friend, my wife and I went there and back on Amtrak, a distance of about 140 miles.


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