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Milwaukee airport director talks trains

(The following appeared on The Times website on March 25, 2011.)

MUNCIE, Ind. — The director of General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee spoke about the rail station at his facility during Friday's lunch meeting for the Indiana High Speed Rail Association in Munster.

The Amtrak Hiawatha route is one of the most successful passenger runs in the country, airport director Barry Bateman said.

"Revenue generated from the Amtrak Hiawatha route was $13.6 million in 2009," he said.

The station at the airport was built in 2005 and has its own parking lot and two automated ticket machines.

"I'm told by the Amtrak folks that this is the busiest unmanned station in their system," Bateman said.

The station also is expanding its platforms to accommodate additional cars because of the increasing passenger use. Seven trains a day operate from Milwaukee to Chicago each day, but Bateman would like to see that jump to between 11 to 13.

He also would like to improve the Chicago run by adding a stop in Gurnee, Ill.

To increase train use by air travelers, Bateman said Amtrak needs to add train arrival and departure times in sync with the airlines.

The full story is at www.nwtimes.com.

Monday, March 28, 2011

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