Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050 will replace Wisconsin Rail Plan 2030 as the statewide long-range rail transportation plan. The entire planning process is scheduled to be completed in 2023.
Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050 will focus on freight rail, rail crossing safety, and passenger rail, through the year 2050. The Rail Plan will support WisDOT's vision for Wisconsin’s transportation system, as identified in Connect 2050:
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) envisions an integrated multimodal transportation system that maximizes the safe and efficient movement of people and products throughout the state, enhancing economic productivity and the quality of Wisconsin’s communities while minimizing impacts to the natural environment.
The Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050 will include policies for railroad crossings, freight rail, Wisconsin’s state-owned rail system, long distance passenger rail, intercity rail, and commuter rail. The plan will specifically discuss rail data trends, existing and possible future service levels, rail system conditions, and commodity freight movements. Future rail-related improvements or plans will be outlined in a user-friendly format.
WisDOT will consider environmental issues throughout the planning process. A System-plan Environmental Evaluation will be conducted if major or substantial changes to WisDOT’s policies or resources would result from the plan’s implementation.
The plan will include an environmental justice (EJ) analysis. The EJ analysis will present the plan’s potential impacts on racial minority populations, low-income populations, persons age 65 and older and households with no vehicles. The analysis in the plan is general and offers a starting point for more specific analysis that will be done when any project is implemented.
Notice of Intent
A Notice of Intent was published to solicit feedback from the public about what generally will be included in the Rail Plan. The public comment period ended July 31, 2020.
Public Involvement Plan (PIP)
Obtaining comment on the draft Public Involvement Plan was one of the first steps in updating the Rail Plan 2050. The public comment period ended August 28, 2020. It provides the big picture of what strategies will be used to involve the public during the long-range plan writing process. This PIP version reflects a minor administrative change to avoid potential confusion about the plan timeline. The final Public Involvement Plan is available as Appendix C in the WisDOT Local Coordination Document.
Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050 Presentations
Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050 Equity-focused Webinar
Thank you to everyone who was able to participate in the Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050 Equity-focused webinar on February 25, 2021. The audience heard members of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s rail passenger, freight, and crossings staff discuss ideas identified for discussion in the Rail Plan. There was time for 30 minutes of comments and questions from the audience.
WisDOT will use insights gained from the interaction to inform the development of policies and programs in the Plan.
The sign language interpreters who were on screen during the live webinar are also shown on screen during the recording.
The draft Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050 is now available for review and comment. The comment period is open through February 26, 2023.