Midwest Regional Rail Passenger Initiative Status Report December 2006

(2006) Midwest Regional Rail Passenger Initiative Status Report December 2006. Transportation, Department of

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Abstract

This report is submitted as required per Code of Iowa section 327J.3(5), "The director shall report annually to the general assembly concerning the development and operation of the midwest regional rail system and the state's passenger rail service." The Midwest Regional Rail Initiative (MWRRI) is a nine-state effort to develop an implementation plan for a 3,000-mile, high-speed rail system hubbed in Chicago. Studies done since 1996 have concluded that such a regional system, including a line from Chicago to Omaha through Davenport, Iowa City and Des Moines, is viable. Most of the system would be upgraded to allow 110 mile-per-hour service. Some low volume lines, including the Iowa portions, would be upgraded for 79 mile-per-hour service. The nine-state coalition released an updated 2004 executive report for the system. As reported, the updated cost estimate for the Chicago to Omaha corridor, which includes a branch to Quincy, Ill., is $638 million for infrastructure and $167 million for rolling stock. These costs are higher than first estimated in 1998 and are given in 2002 dollars, (not adjusted for the cost of inflation). Operating subsidies would be required during an extended start-up phase. The allocation of these subsidy costs among the various states has not been determined, and is still a subject for analysis and negotiation. Little progress on implementation is expected unless a federal funding package is passed for passenger rail initiatives. Continued congressional discussion on policy directions relative to Amtrak clouds the issue of passenger rail funding. However, Congress is expected to address passenger rail issues and funding in 2007. Participation of the Iowa Department of Transportation in the MWRRI is authorized under Iowa Code section 327J.3.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: rail, passenger, midwest
Subjects: Transportation > Railroads
Transportation
ID Code: 4699
Deposited By: Tracey Bramble
Deposited On: 21 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2007
URI: http://publications.iowa.gov/id/eprint/4699

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