The University of Wisconsin-Extension (UWEX) in Sauk County has collaborated with the Pink Lady Rail Transit Commission (PLRTC) to conduct periodic surveys of rail users on the Merrimac to Reedsburg freight rail line (26 miles) since 1988. The purpose of this effort is to track rail usage and assess the economic impact of the rail line to Sauk County’s economy. Over the years, this partnership has produced significant impacts. Previous reports have helped prevent the Chicago & North Western Railway’s rail abandonment in the 1990s. This work also influenced the State of Wisconsin’s decision to purchase the Madison to Reedsburg rail line in 2014. In 2016 the PLRTC requested that UWEX conduct a five-year follow up to their 2010 study.
For more information, please contact Jennifer Erickson, Community Resource Development Educator for Sauk County UW-Extension at 608-355-3252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.