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Mr. Tim Hoeffner

Vice Chair
Ms. Joan Bray

Financial Officer
Sen. Carolyn McGinn

Laura Kliewer 

For more information, contact:
Laura Kliewer

Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission
701 E. 22nd Street, Suite 110
Lombard, IL 60148
Phone:   630/925-1922
Fax:   630/925-1930

AdvocacyFederal Updates
Federal Updates

Updated: See the awards Midwestern states have received thus far from the federal government to build the region's system of fast, frequent passenger rail service!

Recent MIPRC Federal Input

MIPRC Chair testifies before the U.S. House subcommittee on rail (6/11/13)

MIPRC delegation travels to Washington to stress importance of federal funding and authority for passenger rail (5/22 & 5/23/13)

MIPRC and MWRRI submit joint letter to Secretary LaHood re: CMAQ funding for passenger rail operations (11/20/12)

MIPRC and MWRRI submit joint comments into FRA draft state rail plan guidance (10/15/12)

MIPRC Stresses Need for Dedicated, Multi-Year Funding for All Modes, Including Passenger Rail (5/17/12)

MIPRC Provides Input into FFY 2013 Transportation Appropriations (4/13/12)
MIPRC Commissioners Meet with Members of Congress to Stress Importance of Federal Commitment to Passenger Rail Development (6/20/11)

MIPRC Director Submits Testimony to US House T&I Committee Field Hearing (2/25/11)

Information on Midwestern States' HSIPR Applications/Awards
May 9, 2011: Midwest receives more than one-third of new federal funds for HSIPR

Today, for the first time, Midwestern states were awarded federal dollars to modernize passenger rail equipment, and also received important additional funding for passenger rail corridor development in the region. MIPRC welcomes this strong affirmation of the region’s plans for fast, frequent passenger service.

The Midwest received $672.3 million, more than a third of the funding available to the states through today’s High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program announcement.

“The bottom line is creating jobs while developing passenger rail service into the strong, convenient transportation mode we know it can be for our region,” said Illinois Rep. Elaine Nekritz, MIPRC’s chair. “Today’s awards, together with federal funds already flowing to our states, will allow important upgrades to corridors, stations, locomotives and train cars, while creating thousands of jobs and boosting the nascent U.S. rail manufacturing industry.”

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration received almost 100 applications from 24 states, the District of Columbia and Amtrak, for a total request of $10.5 billion. It selected 15 states and Amtrak to receive $2.02 billion for 22 high-speed intercity passenger rail projects.

The following is information on the awards to the Midwestern states, from the U.S. Department of Transportation and state applications:

Next Generation Passenger Rail Equipment Purchase: This state-of-the-art rail equipment will provide safe and reliable American-built vehicles for passenger travel, while boosting the U.S. manufacturing industry. Illinois was the lead state for the Midwest Corridors application, which was awarded $268.2 million to purchase 48 high-performance passenger rail cars and 7 quick-acceleration locomotives for 8 corridors in 5 Midwestern states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Missouri.

Illinois (Chicago-St. Louis Corridor): $186.3 million to construct upgrades on the Chicago - St. Louis Corridor between Dwight and Joliet, IL with trains operating at 110 mph for more than 220 miles of track. This investment will reduce trip times, enhance safety and add more seats on the corridor, increasing the number of people who can conveniently travel by train.

The project will add 7 miles of a second track between Joliet and Elwood, a 2-mile passing siding at Mazonia, and install Positive Train Control between Dwight and Joliet. In addition, IDOT will upgrade 33 private and farm crossings between Dwight and E. St. Louis with enhanced grade crossing protection (quad gates). On time performance would improve from 80 to 85% and schedules would be reduced by another nine minutes.

Michigan (Chicago-Detroit Corridor): $196.5 million to rehabilitate track and signal systems, bring trains up to speeds of 110 mph on a 235-mile section of the Chicago to Detroit corridor, and reduce trip times by 30 minutes. This amount is for the balance of funding needed to complete the corridor enhancement program over the next three years between Kalamazoo and Dearborn (NS ownership). This Service Development Plan was partially funded under FRA’s HSIPR Program in FY 2010 for $150 million.

Michigan (Chicago-Detroit Corridor): $2.8 million for an engineering and environmental analysis to construct a new intermodal rail station in Ann Arbor, MI, that will better serve passengers and allow more than one train to serve the station simultaneously. The station will include a parking structure, intercity passenger rail and bus and local transit.

Minnesota (Minneapolis-Duluth Corridor): $5 million to complete engineering and environmental work for establishing the Northern Lights Express – a high-speed intercity passenger service – connecting Minneapolis to Duluth, with 110-mph high-speed rail service.

Missouri (Chicago-St. Louis Corridor) – $13.5 million to advance the design of a new bridge over the Mississippi River on the Chicago to St. Louis Corridor, replacing a bridge built in the 1890s.

April 8, 2011: Midwestern state position themselves to receive additional HSIPR federal funding

The US DOT initiated a competitive application process to award $2.4 Billion in High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) grants, primarily from funding that was returned by Florida in February (and about $38 million remaining in unallocated Recovery Act funding). The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) was published March 11 and the deadline for application was this past Monday (April 4).

Midwestern state DOTs did a monumental job in completing applications for projects/plans that will purchase modern equipment, renovate and build new stations, improve and lay new track, and plan for future improvements. There was one large multi-state application for equipment submitted, along with a number of specific project requests, for a total federal request from the Midwest of about $2.2 billion.

Secretary LaHood announced that they had received more than 90 applications from 24 states, the District of Columbia and Amtrak, with preliminary requests of about $10 billion. MIPRC has asked Secretary LaHood that priority be given to Midwestern states in any redirected funding (see MIPRC news item 3/6/2011).

Attached is an overview explanation of Midwestern state applications submitted, beginning with the multi-state equipment request, and then listing alphabetically by state the individual applications (application overviews provided by state DOT contacts).

Thank you to all the state DOT applicants for their remarkable work on all the applications, as well as to providing information for the overviews. The best of luck to all of you!!


October 29, 2010: New federal funding for passenger rail projects across the Midwest will mean faster, more reliable and new service for the region

The Midwest will see significant improvements to its passenger rail system in the coming years thanks to a strong state/federal partnership committed to expanding service, improving corridors and purchasing new equipment.

Yesterday, the Federal Railroad Administration announced awards to Midwestern states totaling almost half a billion dollars. A number of projects across the region are being funded, including plans to make significant improvements to the Detroit-Chicago corridor and to establish new service between Chicago and Iowa City.

"This welcome announcement builds on awards announced earlier this year for passenger rail capital improvements to the region totaling over $2.6 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," said Laura Kliewer, director of the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission. "The Midwestern states have worked together for years on plans to give their constituents frequent, fast, reliable passenger rail service. Now everyone can begin to see how those plans can become reality and institute modern, efficient passenger rail service across the region."

For the full press release, and a chart on all the awards to Midwestern states (by corridor), click here.


January 28, 2010: Midwest Receives $2.6 Billion in Federal Stimulus money

Midwestern states have been awarded $2.6 billion of the $8 billion available to states across the country to develop faster, more frequent passenger rail service.

Funding has been awarded to improve track and signaling on existing lines (allowing for faster and more frequent service), to conduct the environmental work necessary to bring higher speed service on other lines, and to conduct feasibility studies for additional service. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin will all receive a portion of the awards. For a detailed list of projects please click here.

The awards include $1.1 billion to implement 110 mph service on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor; $810 million to initiate passenger rail service between Milwaukee and Madison; and $400 million to start up passenger rail service between Ohio's major metropolitan areas.

Smaller awards that will complement these larger projects include $31 million for a number of different projects that will improve safety and reliability on the St. Louis-Kansas City line; $1 million to conduct environmental and other required work on the remainder of the Chicago-Twin Cities corridor (Madison-Twin Cities); and project-specific awards that will significantly relieve congestion on the Chicago-Detroit corridor.


Click here to read background information on federal passenger rail progress (2008-2009)



Secretariat services provided by The Council of State Governments' Midwestern Office

Secretariat services provided by
The Council of State Governments'
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