FRA Awards Intercity Capital Grant for Planning of Midwest Rail Corridors

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded a $297,000 grant to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative (MWRRI) to continue rail corridor planning, which may lead to the development of several high-speed rail corridors.

MWRRI is a 3,000-mile system providing improved intercity passenger rail service that serves nine states with a combined population of 60 million people, using Chicago as a regional hub. The MWRRI member states will match the $297,000 grant. The project includes an alternative routes analysis; system cost updates; equipment, train control and operational plans; and the preparation of public outreach materials.

Corridors include Chicago-Porter, Chicago-Toledo-Cleveland, Chicago-Indianapolis-Cincinnati, Chicago-Champaign-Carbondale, St. Louis-Jefferson City-Kansas City, Chicago-Quincy/Des Moines-Omaha, and Chicago-Milwaukee-Minneapolis/St. Paul-Green Bay.

The grant is made under FRA’s FY 2008 Capital Assistance to States – Intercity Passenger Rail Service Program. This is a separate authority from the grants for high-speed rail under the Recovery Act (ARRA). Guidance for competitive grants under the new authority is still under development.