Press release from the City:
City Partners with Sen. Wyss, NIPRA to host meeting with INDOT Commissioner
Session will focus on state’s efforts to bring passenger rail service back to Fort Wayne as Midwest looks to high-speed rail network
State Sen. Tom Wyss (R-Fort Wayne) and the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association and in cooperation with the City of Fort Wayne will host a forum with Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Michael Reed. Open to the public, the meeting will be at 4 p.m. July 9 at the Baker Street Station, 221 W. Baker St.
Sen. Wyss, chairman of the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee, and NIPRA invited Commissioner Reed to Fort Wayne for an update on Gov. Mitch Daniels’ support of passenger rail service in Indiana and the state’s application for federal funding of high-speed rail. Reed is also scheduled to take questions from the audience.
“The Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association is very grateful to Senator Tom Wyss for his work in securing Commissioner Mike Reed for this most important meeting. We believe there is growing interest in our state legislative delegation to see passenger rail service restored to Fort Wayne in the near future,” said Geoff Paddock, member of NIPRA and one of the organizers of the meeting with the commissioner.
The meeting will focus on INDOT’s rail plan to connect Indiana cities to Chicago with passenger rail service. In 2002, Fort Wayne was selected as an intermediary stop on a proposed high-speed rail line between Chicago and Cleveland, but the Fort Wayne route remains in limbo until the state and U.S. Department of Transportation finalize passenger-rail plans.
“Bringing passenger rail back to Fort Wayne, in whatever form it takes, can be an engine for jobs in northeast Indiana,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “Our state is a critical link between Chicago and Ohio, and Fort Wayne should be the route. We have amazing support in our city for the return of passenger rail since we recognize the value it would add to our community.”
This is the second public forum NIPRA has hosted. In April, the rail-advocacy group held the Rally for Rail with 800 people in attendance.