News From MIPRC States



MIPRC states win $48.8 million in latest round of CRISI grants


MIPRC states fared well in the latest round of federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grants, announced March 12 by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Among $248.5 million in total grant funds awarded to 27 states, passenger rail-related projects projects in Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin will receive up to $48,795,496.

Kansas Legislature holds third annual hearing on passenger rail


Kansas state Senator and MIPRC Commissioner Carolyn McGinn hosted the Kansas Legislature’s third annual hearing on passenger rail at the Kansas State Capitol on January 22. Representatives from Amtrak, BNSF, Kansas DOT (KDOT) and MIPRC were invited to address an overflow group of legislators and advocates on the current state of passenger rail development at the federal, state and local levels.

In first 'State of Good Repair' grant awards, Midwest comes up big again


Fresh from the June announcement that every MIPRC state had won a Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grant, the region got more good news in August when the Federal Railroad Administration announced the first “State Of Good Repair” (SOGR) grant awards: three Midwestern states are among the 10 winners.

Illinois' new capital budget will boost, improve passenger rail service


Capital funding and new service are coming down the tracks for riders of Illinois’ passenger trains in the state’s new six-year, $45 billion capital budget, a.k.a the “Rebuild Illinois” program. That budget, signed by Gov. JB Pritzker on June 28, allocates $33 billion to transportation, including funding to improve existing routes and revive two dormant projects to restore passenger service – between Chicago and the Quad Cities, and Chicago and Rockford.

New Michigan Services timetable shows shorter trips after rail investments


A new schedule took effect for the state-supported Blue Water and Wolverine services starting on January 22, 2018, replacing the one that had been in effect since June 26, 2017,  reflecting significant improvements in running times thanks to upgrades to tracks and other infrastructure geared for 110 miles per hour service in the near future.

'Purpose and Need Statement' released for Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago service


The proposed Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago (TCMC) Intercity Passenger Rail Service project between the Twin Cities, Milwaukee and Chicago cleared a procedural hurdle to entering the federal passenger rail program with the release of a Purpose and Need Statement , which defines the purpose of the project and the transportation needs addressed by the project, the Minnesota Department of Transportation officially announced on July 25, 2017.

Inspection train reveals strong support for connecting Southwest Chief, Heartland Flyer services


Passenger rail service through Kansas is currently limited to just one daily round-trip train, the Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief, which has six stops across Kansas (Lawrence, Topeka, Newton, Hutchinson, Dodge City and Garden City).  But that may change in wake of a June 9th inspection train from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Kansas City, Missouri, following strong ridership on an Amtrak Thruway bus connection that commenced in April of 2016.

Public meetings set for Northern Lights Express Tier 2 Project Level Environmental Assessment


The Tier 2 Environmental Assessment (EA) of the proposed Northern Lights Express (NLX) connecting Duluth/Superior to the Twin Cities is now available for public review and comment. Public meetings will be held May 16-18, and written comments on the Tier 2 Project Level EA are due by May 24, 2017.


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Secretariat services provided by The Council Of State Governments' Midwestern Office.