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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Iowa to FRA: Split HSR grant so Illinois can begin Chicago-Quad cities work


It remains uncertain when — or whether — the Iowa legislature will approve state matching funds for a $230 million federal grant the state received to upgrade track between Chicago and the Quad Cities for 79 mph passenger-rail operations. But in the meantime, Iowa rail officials want the Illinois DOT to begin advancing the Illinois portion of the project.

Iowa Department of Transportation officials recently sent a request to the Federal Railroad Administration asking the agency to split the grant award for the line into two parts, enabling the Illinois DOT to begin rail construction in Illinois, according to advocacy group the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC). Illinois is set to receive $143 million for the project.

In the meantime, Iowa has agreed to provide a $1 million matching grant to study a possible expansion of the Chicago-Quad Cities line to Omaha, according to ELPC.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/15/2011