Midwest Regional Rail Plan
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is leading a Midwest Regional Rail Planning Study (MWRRPS), with the goal of creating a 40-year vision for passenger rail in the Midwest. This will build off the network envisioned in the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative (MWRRI). We’ve learned a lot since then and this is a great opportunity to strengthen our region’s vision.
For over a decade the MWRRI has served as a blueprint for federal grant applications. The Midwest was awarded $2.5 Billion in federal funding under the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program between FY2009 and FY2011. This included new locomotives, passenger cars, upgraded tracks, modernized stations, increased frequencies and faster travel times.
The MWRRPS could have a similar impact on the future of passenger rail in the Midwest. It will help determine the priorities, studies and investments needed to advance projects for decades to come. This is why it’s critical the plan include faster trip times, more frequent departures and focus on broad networks, rather than individual routes.
MHSRA is developing a roadmap for a network that will strengthen the connections between our vibrant cities. The future of the Midwest is explained in the Phased Network Model. Using this model, trains will use both upgraded tracks shared with freight trains and new passenger dedicated mainlines to reach their destination.
Built in phases, this broad network of high-frequency services, with strategically placed segments of new High Speed Line, will serve the majority of communities in the Midwest. By creating a plan with widespread benefits, leaders throughout the Midwest can be reengaged to advocate for federal funding.
P.S. You can learn more about the project here.
Last Week at MHSRA
We attended the Michigan Association of Railroad Passenger’s Meeting at Union Station. Laura Kliewer, Director, Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission shared details about the MWRRPS and MIPRC’s involvement in the process. Martin Bloedt, Siemens, described in detail the new Siemens locomotives ability to maintain high average speeds, reduce maintenance costs and improve reliability on Midwest routes.
Articles We Enjoyed
Texas High-Speed Rail Project Moves Forward
"Texas Central, the Dallas company planning to build a high-speed train between Dallas and Houston, has reached a deal with a major global consortium to design and build the project."
Trains Should Be A Part Of Nation’s Future Infrastructure
“When rebuilding the United States infrastructure, don’t forget about trains.”
Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Will be Unveiled in Weeks, Chao Says
"President Donald Trump's infrastructure proposal will be announced in the next several weeks, and will include $200 billion in direct federal funds to leverage $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over the next 10 years, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday."
Could This ’Visionary’ Plan Solve the Area’s Transit Woes
"With Penn Station's failing infrastructure at capacity, a plan to merge the area's train and bus service into one regional system is the cornerstone of an idea floated by a New York design firm as a solution to the region's commuting problems."
Homewood Rail Fest
A day that rail enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy all things trains! We will have a table at the event and would appreciate the help of anyone in the area. Please contact Dylan@JustBuildIt.org if you're interested in volunteering, even if only for an hour or two.
When: May 20th, 9am - 3pm
Where: Homewood-Flossmoor Park District Auditorium, 2010 Chestnut, Homewood, IL
The City Club of Chicago is hosting a breakfast with Amtrak's new CEO. This is an opportunity to learn about the direction Wick Moorman is leading Amtrak.
December 02, 2017
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
This is a combined meeting of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association and the annual meeting of the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers annual meeting.
The full agenda will be available soon. It will include a presentation by MHSRA Executive Director Rick Harnish, on the Phased Network Approach.
The meeting location is walking distance from the new Dearborn, MI railroad station.
November 03, 2018 to November 11, 2018
The best way to see how fast, frequent and dependable trains transform communities is to ride them and see the cities they serve.
Over the years, members of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association have traveled to see high-speed rail and transit systems in Europe and Asia. Each of the trips has been insightful and motivating. We have also made important business connections along the way.
Hopefully, you can join us on the next tour: Italy in November of 2018. The main tour begins in Rome on November 3 and ends in Rome on November 11. Rick Harnish will be your tour leader.