Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Iowa vision

The latest developments in the Quad Cities are woth note. Even more interesting is the regional backing for expanding rail services. Jim Bohnsack is the regional coalition organizing the initial stages. The Quad Cities Times carries a lengthy report on a groundswell that could develop into a Chicago – Des Moines – Lincoln corridor.

Although the outcome is not yet known, Bohnsack said the Iowa Interstate Railroad likely would be the rail line used. He also said the Chicago-to-Quad-Cities route would take about 3 hours and 15 minutes, would be non-stop and the train would travel at 79 mph.

The coalition estimates it will take about $45 million in capital funding from the State of Illinois to begin work on the route.

Keller said the Iowa DOT is behind the effort more than ever before.

“Illinois has a long-standing history of supporting rail passenger trains. Iowa has not had a long-standing support of rail passenger trains. It is as simple as that,” he said.

Last month, some Iowa leaders in Des Moines said they are ready to explore new passenger rail options, including the possibility of a route from the Quad-Cities to Lincoln, Neb.

Keller said the priority is Chicago to the Quad-Cities. After that, an extension to Iowa City will be studied. If that occurs, extending the route to Des Moines would be the next goal. Eventually, he said Nebraska officials would like the Chicago route to go to Lincoln.

Filed under: Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, Regional USA Passenger Rail

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