The Federal Railroad Administration and the Iowa Department of Transportation are conducting a passenger high-speed rail study that will look at the viability of such a service in the Midwest. Iowa D-O-T spokesperson Amanda Martin says H-D-R Consulting in Omaha was hired to help them facilitate an Environmental Impact Statement.
The study will evaluate five potential routes and then narrow down that selection to one based on environmental issues, levels of service and ridership. Martin says this would be a high-speed passenger rail system and they first will look at the service traveling 79 miles-per-hour and expand to 90-miles-per-hour and the feasibility of going those speeds.
Starting Monday, February 13th, Iowa DOT is hosting an online open house meeting to outline the plans for the rail system. This is the first opportunity for the public to participate in the study and they are looking for input. Those interested can access the website at “iowadot.gov/chicagotoomaha”.