The Indiana Department of Transportation released a draft of the new 2011 Indiana Rail Plan this week. The rail plan catalogs existing proposals within the State of Indiana. It then suggests that the state might implement these proposals as funding is available and as projects are deemed to be cost effective solutions for transportation in Indiana. They do not, however, create any proposed timeline for pursuing any of the outlined proposals or a funding scheme. This demonstrates that passenger rail development is not a priority for the State of Indiana and that the state has chosen to take a passive approach.
You can download a copy of the 2011 (draft) Indiana Rail Plan here: www.in.gov/indot/files/September_2011_Rail_Plan.pdf
We are disappointed that the Indiana Department of Transportation is not making advanced passenger trains a priority. Connecting major city centers of the Midwest with improved passenger rail is an important part of ensuring our future economic competitiveness as a region. Improved passenger rail would mean a healthy transportation system that provides a competitive edge, creates jobs, and improves quality of life for residents of Indiana. It is a proven worldwide commodity (pursued by the world's six largest economies - except the U.S.), it utilizes existing technologies, it will bolster economic growth, and it fosters cleaner travel. It should be a priority.
We believe that the Indiana Department of Transportation should lay out a specific agenda. This agenda would involve design work for core express lines linking Chicago to Indianapolis and Cincinnati and Chicago to cities in the east via South Bend and/or Fort Wayne. We believe the plan should include specific financing needs and specific targeted steps in order to achieve significant service improvements in the next several years, in addition to a long-term vision for 220-mph high speed trains. We urge Governor Daniels to take a more aggressive approach to passenger rail development for Indiana.
Indiana residents can submit public comments on this issue and send a message to Governor Daniels using one of our action pages. We have made it easy. Visit our action page at: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2228/p/dia/action/public/?action_KE...