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R.I.P., Proposed Rail Line Featuring Oak Creek Stop

The killing of the KRM project could be seen from a mile away.

The proposed Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee (KRM) rail line, which would have included a stop in Oak Creek, was officially killed Monday.

Prospects that the railroad would ever come to fruition never seemed all that high, especially as the Milwaukee-to-Madison line garnered all the attention (and initially, money). 

Republicans taking over the governor's office and Legislature in November made the chances even dimmer, and it was really dead when the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority was dissolved under the state budget. The group met for the final time Monday.

Under the plans, trains would have stopped in Oak Creek near Fifth Avenue and Ryan Road, in the Lakeview Village area.

Many city leaders liked the idea because it could have helped stimulate redevelopment of the Oak Creek lakefront, but were skeptical about the cost. In late 2009, the estimated cost was $206 million for construction and another $11.8 million in annual operating costs.

But money worries are just a memory now that KRM is officially laid to rest.

While we're on the topic of rail, some residents have asked about a possible Amtrak stop near the Delphi property to help spur redevelopment there. It would easily work geographically since the Amtrak runs right by Delphi, almost touching the property line on the west.

But I'm told that at this point, it has zero possibility of happening. City officials say they have inquired about it but Amtrak doesn't want to create one since there's already a stop very close by at the airport.

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