From the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association (NIPRA):
Vision for High Speed Rail in America
Fort Wayne delegation attends Federal Railroad Administration Workshop in Chicago
On June 1, a delegation from Fort Wayne including D.I.D. Board Member and City Council Member Karen Goldner, D.I.D. President Rich Davis, Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association Co-Chairman Tom Hayhurst, Tom Walls, Planning & Policy, City of Fort Wayne, and Allison McSherry, Constituent Liaison for Congressman Mark E. Souder, convened with hundreds of state and local government officials, rail supporters, and rail industry representatives from throughout the Midwest region at a workshop hosted by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in Chicago.
D.I.D. Board Member and City Council Member Karen Goldner, Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association Co-Chairman Tom Hayhurst, and Tom Walls, Planning & Policy, City of Fort Wayne convene with John E. Jordan, Director, Local Programs Division, Indiana Department of Transportation.
Karen Goldner, Tom Walls, and D.I.D. President Rich Davis on their way to Chicago
The Fort Wayne delegation traveled by car to East Chicago, then took a commuter rail train into Millenium Station in downtown Chicago, arriving at the conference site in exactly 5 hours. Under the proposed Midwest Regional Rail System (MWRRS) presented at the workshop by Wisconsin Secretary of Transportation Frank Busalacchi, the same trip from Fort Wayne to downtown Chicago would take 1 hour and 43 minutes.
Dr. Tom Hayhurst, ODOT Director Joline Molitoris, and Karen Goldner
Hundreds of state and local officials, industry representatives, and passenger rail organizations met at the invitation of the Federal Railroad Administration to offer input on regional and nationwide plans for high-speed rail. Ohio Department of Transportation Director Joline Molitoris outlined Ohio’s plans to connect to Chicago and other regional cities, as well as to connect the major cities of Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, and Dayton via an intra-state rail system.
The delegation with John Jordan and David Holtz (right) of the Indiana Department of Transportation.
The delegation met with John Jordan and David Holtz of the Indiana Department of Transportation to discuss a draft State Rail Plan being prepared for INDOT review. The Fort Wayne delegation reviewed for the benefit of INDOT staff the 2002 economic feasibility study which established the superiority of a Chicago to Toledo high speed rail connection through Fort Wayne.
- The Fort Wayne Downtown Improvement District strongly supports the re-introduction of Amtrak service to Fort Wayne and on April 21 urged Governor Daniels to “plan and fund the improvements in rail lines to enable east-west connections through Fort Wayne to Toledo and Cleveland, Columbus, and Pittsburgh.” (Link)
- In related news, joining hundreds of community leaders, rail advocates, and private citizens from Fort Wayne, the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana on May 27 wrote Governor Daniels to assert that “Reconnecting Fort Wayne as a hub for Midwest rail service is essential to the growth of Northeast Indiana.” (Link)
- 2009 document, “Vision for High-Speed Rail in America,” prepared by the U.S. Department of Transportation. (Link)
- The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is asking for public comment on where to allocate Federal Stimulus dollars. Voice your support for Fort Wayne here: (Link)
- Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association website
- AFW NIPRA related posts