Columbus station

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Columbus, WI
Columbus stop.jpg
Location359 North Ludington Street
Columbus, Wisconsin 53925
Coordinates43°20′27″N 89°00′45″W / 43.3408°N 89.0126°W / 43.3408; -89.0126Coordinates: 43°20′27″N 89°00′45″W / 43.3408°N 89.0126°W / 43.3408; -89.0126
Line(s)Canadian Pacific Railway Watertown Subdivision
Platforms1 side platform
ConnectionsLamers Bus Lines
ParkingYes; free
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Station codeCBS
201713,545[1]Decrease 3.28%
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
toward Seattle or Portland
Empire Builder Milwaukee
toward Chicago
Former services
Preceding station Milwaukee Road Following station
Fall River
towards Seattle or Tacoma
Main Line Astico
towards Chicago

Columbus is a railway station that serves Columbus, Wisconsin. The station is served by Amtrak, the national railroad passenger system, with daily service by the Empire Builder line. This station and the Portage station serve the Madison metropolitan area, with Columbus reckoned as the official stop for Madison proper.


Built in 1906 by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road), the station is well preserved, and looks much as did when first built. The station area also includes an older freight station.[2] In 2016, a safety fence was constructed between the two mainline tracks running by the station.


Until 2017, the station was staffed Mondays through Fridays by an Amtrak station agent with full ticketing and baggage handling services. On weekends and holidays, the station was only opened and closed by support staff, and tickets had to be purchased in advance. Baggage service on weekends and holidays was self-serve; passengers checked bags trainside after tagging their own bags at the station.

Since May 2017, however, the station has been unstaffed, even though a large number of Amish passengers used the station and almost always bought their tickets at the window. According to Rod Musel, who was station agent in Columbus from 2004 to 2017, many Amish passengers were likely to drive to the other two staffed stations in the state, Milwaukee or La Crosse. Baggage service is self-serve seven days a week.[3][4]

The Empire Builder comes twice a day, heading toward Chicago at 12:57 PM, and toward Seattle or Portland at 5:02 PM.

The depot has a bulletin board with photos of past trips aboard the Empire Builder by former passengers. Also on the wall is a map of Glacier National Park, a popular destination for those travelers on vacation. There is no food service available within the station, but numerous restaurants are located within two blocks of the station. Columbus is not a smoke-break stop for the Empire Builder, and continuing passengers may not step off the train in Columbus.



  1. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2017, State of Wisconsin" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2017.
  2. ^ Columbia County, Wisconsin Railroad Structures
  3. ^ "Columbus Amtrak station will be unmanned starting May 1". Feb 4, 2017. Retrieved Feb 11, 2019.
  4. ^ Columbus station information

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