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Illustration: David Alvarado

Create an express train to Madison, Wisconsin

A train that could take us to Madison, Wisconsin and bring us back (with beer and cheese) would be a dream come true

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

You can take an Amtrak train to Milwaukee, St. Louis, Indianapolis or Cleveland from Union Station, but getting to Madison by rail is like finding a New Glarus beer in a Chicago bar—it’s impossible. We know the route exists—in 2014, Pullman Rail Journeys organized a series of excursions from Chicago to the Wisconsin capitol, traveling via a combination of Metra and freight tracks. Ideally the journey would take about as long as a road trip to Madison (just less than three hours), though instead of weaving through I-90’s minefield of traffic and construction, you’d be able to sit back and research cheese curds. Imagine shopping at Madison’s famous Capitol Square farmers’ market, walking along the scenic isthmus and enjoying an authentic Wisconsin old-fashioned, all without having to rent a car. Plus, we’re pretty sure that Madisonites wouldn’t mind being able to conveniently escape to Chicago every so often.

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