Cross Bucks 

Amtrak To Increase Service

Cross Bucks 



Governor Tommy Thompson today announced that Wisconsin and Amtrak have completed an agreement to provide late night train service between Milwaukee and Chicago during the 1999 Milwaukee Summerfest.

"This additional Amtrak service can help us attract Illinois residents to the food and fun of Summerfest," noted Governor Thompson. "The train service will provide a fast, easy, and reliable travel option, especially as an alternative to traveling through the highway construction zones on north-south I-94. I invite all of our Illinois friends to use Amtrak to come to Summerfest this year."

Under the agreement with the state, Amtrak will operate a midnight train departure from Milwaukee to Chicago on June 26 & 27, and July 3 & 4. Amtrak currently offers six daily departures from Milwaukee as part of its Hiawatha Service to Chicago, with a final daily departure at 5:40 p.m. The extra service will be provided at no additional operating cost to the state.

Summerfest, Milwaukee’s lakefront music festival, will run from June 24 through July 4 this year. Summerfest’s home, the Henry Maier Festival Park, is located approximately 12 blocks from the Milwaukee Amtrak depot. The depot is also located near the Summerfest shuttle bus line operated by the Milwaukee County Transit System.

In addition to the train service, Amtrak and the state will work on joint promotional activities with Summerfest. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is to provide $20,000 in marketing funds to promote the extra service. As part of its own marketing efforts, Amtrak will advertise the additional Summerfest service on a message board alongside the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago.

Amtrak will also participate in the Summerfest pin program, through which lapel pins are sold at over 450 retail outlets that allow free admission to Summerfest at certain times. Each pin purchase will also feature a chance to win tickets on Amtrak’s Hiawatha Service. Summerfest is also offering free admission on June 26 & 27, and July 3 & 4 to anyone with a validated Amtrak ticket stub from that day.

"I am very pleased that the state, Amtrak, and Summerfest can cooperate in this venture in which everyone comes out a winner," stated Governor Thompson. "This partnership will improve ridership for Amtrak, will increase out-of-state patronage at Summerfest, will benefit tourism to our state, and will provide a safe transportation option for travelers."

Amtrak provides information on the regular or special Hiawatha Service, or any other Amtrak trains, at 1-800-USA-RAIL, or on their web site at Information about Summerfest can be obtained by calling 1-800-273-FEST, or by accessing their web site at


6/3/99 #269
Governor Thompson’s office:
Darrin Schmitz (608) 266-1212
Amtrak: Derrick James … (312) 655-1311
Summerfest: Patrice Harris … (414) 273-2680

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