Midwestern states release plan for improved passenger rail service

The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) has released the details of the plan for passenger rail improvements for an 11 state area in the region. The area which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin has received more than $2.6 billion in federal funding. Each state applied for awards based on individual projects that will work in aggregate to make it easier for people to travel in the region.

Travel between Chicago, St.Louis and Kansas will be easier thanks to signaling improvements, renovations and congestion relief at several traffic bottlenecks. These improvements are expected to shorten travel times and increase reliability.

New lines will also be established between Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin; Chicago, Illinois and Omaha, Nebraska; Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio.

A study is also underway to examine the requirements and impact of high-speed rail line that will provide more connectivity within the region. Planning for these rail projects has been underway for several years and is expected to bring over $30 billion in economic benefits to the region. Some projects will be completed this year with others continuing through 2015.

“The Midwestern states have worked together for years on plans to give their constituents frequent, fast, reliable passenger rail service. Now everyone can begin to see how those plans can become reality and institute modern, efficient passenger rail service across the region,” said Laura Kliewer, director of the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission.

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