Winning the Amtrak Hiawatha Service Advertising Project contract in 2004 was one of the proudest days in Staples Marketing’s history. The opportunity to develop a first-ever branding and marketing campaign for a major transportation service does not come along everyday. That’s why we’re especially proud of the fact that over six years into the campaign, ridership has increased on the service by over 50%. The Hiawatha’s success is one reason why it’s been in the news a lot lately. Wisconsin was originally awarded the now infamous $800 million dollars to make the service high-speed and expand it to Madison (and then likely to the Twin Cities from there) because of how viable and successful it was. Of course, that didn’t happen but today there was another huge article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about how the state is requesting $150 million from the federal government to convert the existing Milwaukee to Chicago service to high speed, buy some new trains and redo the train shed in Milwaukee. I guess one thing we can count on is, just like the reliable service the train provides, this story will keeping coming and going, dependably, over and over again. And we’ll keep doing what we can to make sure it’s packed with riders.