FRA joins Amtrak and offers expanded Chicago-based passenger train service

“Should the stakeholder states individually and collectively decide to advance an intercity passenger rail network with greater emphasis on high-speed lines, there may be justification for building even more corridors at the regional/central express level,” indicates the report. . “Furthermore, if a Midwest Regional Rail Plan III inter-regional passenger rail study were conducted in the future, including the Midwest (e.g. connecting Midwest and Southeast or Midwest and Northeast) , there could be sufficient traffic between certain interregional markets to justify the hard core. express service on regional service on certain corridors.

The report does not consider the long-distance, high-speed connections desired by some rail fans (i.e., 200+ mph service to New York). Instead, it focuses on carefully negotiated incremental changes with Midwestern states, with speeds reaching 110 mph.

An Amtrak spokesperson said the plans released by the two agencies were “complementary”.

UPDATE-Although most of it is phased, the plan includes discussion of starting at least 125mph service on dedicated rail lines. This would speed up the service so much that it would attract new passengers and potentially be profitable, the report said. But the cost is huge, with an estimated $116 billion to $162 billion in investment funds needed from federal and state governments to implement the full program.

Jose P. Rogers