The recent push to discuss sensible ground transportation is a healthy development, but we sense that things get talked to death. Radio Iowa has the latest entry.
The Environmental Law and Policy Center is calling for an expansion of rail service in Iowa. Howard Learner, president of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, estimates a new rail line from Des Moines to Iowa City to the Quad Cities and on to Chicago would cost about $125 million.
TFA always approves passenger train improvements, but we see two questions here.
One is the idea of a single Quad Cities stop between Des Moines and Chicago. We have not seen a transportation study, so ELPC could be on to something, but we doubt it.
There is also the question of cost. For $125 million, a sensible appropriation for the entire project, we would expect a lot more than 79 mph. There should be some areas over 100 mph or the ticket price can not be sufficient.
The headline writer called this idea “high speed rail.” Can anybody be that sheltered?
This service only makes sense as part of a larger picture. The better concept is Omaha-Chicago Technically, that might means an Omaha-Ames-Chicago corridor.
Anyway, more planning is needed.