Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050

Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050 planning process is underway

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 ​2022.

Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050 will focus on freight rail, rail crossing safety, and passenger rail, through the year 2050. The Rail Plan will support the vision for Wisconsin’s transportation system:

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.​​​​

Plan contents

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.

Highlights of Pre-draft Activities

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.

Please continue to share any comments or ideas by email to: wirailplan2050@dot.wi.gov.

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Diane Paoni, Bureau of Planning and Economic Development
Division of Transportation Investment Management
(608) 266-1402