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Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) officials in Chicago yesterday released the Midwest Regional Rail Plan, a detailed 40-year multistate framework for restoring, modernizing, and expanding the existing intercity passenger-rail network in the Midwest.
The study is the culmination of a cooperative effort led by the FRA and Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission, and developed in partnership with 12 state departments of transportation, as well as Amtrak, freight railroads, transit organizations, councils of government, metropolitan planning organizations, chambers of commerce, regional railroads and advocacy groups.
Over a two-year period, the various organizations hosted stakeholder workshops and undertook the research and analysis underpinning the report.
The plan examines the potential for developing and optimizing Midwest intercity passenger rail connections through 2055. It prioritizes corridors and investment projects, potential funding strategies and necessary governance structures.
The study area encompasses the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
"This plan exemplifies the very best of our regional rail planning efforts and interstate partnerships," said FRA Deputy Administrator Amit Bose in a press release.