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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

MIPRC urges Midwestern Members of Congress to Support Extension of PTC Implementation Deadline
Monday, October 12, 2015 

On October 1, MIPRC sent a letter to Midwestern Members of Congress, supporting an extension of the Positive Train Control (PTC) deadline, with authority for FRA to review and enforce.

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MIPRC submits comments to Senate Commerce Committee on PRIIA reauthorization
Friday, May 01, 2015 

MIPRC appreciates the U.S. House and Senate’s effort to reauthorize Amtrak funding and the programs of the Federal Railroad Administration. The commission believes that the continued development of a national intercity passenger rail system is a crucial component of our nation’s transportation network and that such a national system is needed to compensate for the ever-worsening problems of highway and aviation congestion.

HR 749, the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015, was passed by the House in March. As the Senate Commerce Committee considers the legislation, MIPRC asked for several considerations that we believe would strengthen the bill.

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MIPRC submits federal FY 2016 funding request
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 

MIPRC submitted "outside witness testimony" to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies for FY 2016, asking for adequate funding for both Amtrak and the passenger rail-related programs managed by the Federal Railroad Administration.

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Midwestern states submit Statement of Interest for FRA-Led Regional Rail Planning
Friday, November 21, 2014 

On Nov. 12, MIPRC submitted a Statement of Interest and Qualifications on behalf of the Midwestern states for participating in an FRA-led regional rail planning process.

In the short timeframe provided, the Midwest received more than 90 letters of support from a wide variety of supporters across the region.

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MIPRC submits comments to T&I Committee on reauthorization of PRIIA
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 

Last week, MIPRC sent a letter to the U.S. Transportation & Infrastructure rail subcommittee Chair Jeff Denham and Ranking Member Corrine Brown (which was then sent to all committee members), commenting on HR 5449, the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2014 (PRRIA).

Reauthorization of the landmark Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) is an extremely important issue to MIPRC and, of course, its states.

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MIPRC submits FY 2015 federal funding request
Monday, April 14, 2014 

Last Friday (4/11), MIPRC officers submitted a request for FY 2015 federal transportation appropriations to the US House Transportation, Housing & Urban Development (THUD) subcommittee of Appropriations.

MIPRC requested that the following be appropriated to the Federal Railroad Administration:

  1. $225 million for the high-performance passenger rail program (PRIIA Sections 301, 302 and 501);
  2. $600 million for the TIGER program (ARRA Title XXII);
  3. $1 million to continue the efforts of the Next Generation Equipment Committee (PRIIA Section 305);
  4. $425 million to assist in implementation of Positive Train Control (PRIIA Section 105);
  5. $300 million for a state corridor program (PRIIA Section 209);
  6. $25 million for the Rail Line Relocation & Improvement (RLR) Capital Grant Program (SAFETEA-LU Section 9002); and
  7. $10 million for the National Cooperative Rail Research Program (NCRRP).

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New passenger rail equipment coming to the Midwest!
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

On December 19, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced that the department has issued a Notice of Intent to Award to Siemens USA to design, build and deliver 35 high-performance diesel-electric locomotives on behalf of the departments of transportation from Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri and Washington.

This follows the November 2012 award to Sumitomo/Nippon-Sharyo to build 130 next-generation bi-level rail cars for the Midwest and California (California led that procurement). Those cars are being built at Nippon-Sharyo's production facility in Rochelle, Illinois.

Both of these purchases are being made possible through grants to the states from the federal High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program. These new (next generation) railcars and locomotives will meet standards developed by the PRIIA Section 305 Next Generation Equipment Committee.

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MIPRC Chair Invited to Testify Before U.S. House Rail Subcommittee
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 

MIPRC Chair Illinois Rep. Elaine Nekritz testified before the U.S. House rail subcommittee of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee yesterday, stressing the accomplishments of the Midwestern states in passenger rail development and encouraging the subcommittee Members to create a strong federal/state partnership for passenger rail that other modes of transportation enjoy.

“Passenger rail is necessarily an interstate endeavor, and intercity passenger rail plays a critical role in the Midwest’s transportation network,” Rep. Nekritz said in her opening comments to the subcommittee Tuesday in Springfield, Illinois. “Our experience provides strong evidence that constituents increasingly want the option to take a train.”

The hearings this week (yesterday’s, along with one Monday that focused on CREATE) are the only ones scheduled in the Midwest.

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MIPRC states upgrading region’s intercity passenger rail lines
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 

Four years ago, federal lawmakers made an historic funding commitment to passenger rail – billions of dollars for projects that aim to improve intercity and interstate service.

The Midwest has received $2.5 billion of the money obligated so far under the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program (a little more than a quarter of total federal funding) for 39 different projects.

That money is being used by eight states in the region to implement the first phase of a plan to bring faster, more frequent passenger rail service to the region. This plan, known as the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, envisions a 3,000-mile interstate system of high speed trains traveling to and from the region’s largest cities.

In March, during a webinar hosted by the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC), officials from five different states – Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and Minnesota – updated MIPRC commissioners on how the federal dollars are being used.

To read about these developments, click here.

A recording of the entire webinar – Passenger Rail Development in the Midwest: Our History and Plans for the Future – is available here.

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MIPRC and MWRRI submit joint letter to Secretary LaHood re: CMAQ funding for passenger rail operations
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 

Yesterday, MIPRC and the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative (MWRRI) steering committee sent a joint letter to US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, asking him to remove the three-year cap on allowing states to use the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) for intercity passenger rail funds operations.

Several of our states have used – or plan to use – CMAQ funding to help offset the cost of operating passenger rail service.  Using CMAQ funds for intercity passenger rail operating expenses is a decision for each individual state, but having that flexibility is key.

Click here for a copy of the letter.

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Yet another record passenger rail ridership year for Midwest!
Tuesday, November 06, 2012 

Passenger rail service in the Midwest is growing and improving, with record numbers of people taking the train and upgrades to service underway.

Amtrak ridership on “corridor” service (shorter distance routes typically financed by states) within the Midwest once again experienced record growth during fiscal year 2012. The number of people taking the train on these regional routes grew by 108,562 during FY 2012, topping 3.16 million. Total ridership on the nine routes grew by 3.5 percent over the previous year; during the past five years, corridor service ridership in the Midwest has risen 35 percent.

MIPRC began using Amtrak’s ridership numbers in 2004 to look at corridor growth in the region. Since then, the number of people taking the train on these corridor routes has increased 99 percent.

While the number of passengers taking the train on the typically once-daily overnight service has not grown as dramatically, more than 2.6 million people traveled on one of the region’s eight long-distance routes during FY 2012 – a 21 percent five-year growth rate and a 7 percent gain over the previous year.

Click here to view a chart detailing the ridership growth.

The region is also seeing the first of a series of planned improvements to routes, made possible through grants awarded through the federal High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program. Read the full article for details!

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MIPRC and MWRRI submit joint comments into FRA draft state rail plan guidance
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 

On October 15, MIPRC and the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative (MWRRI) steering committee submitted joint comments into the Federal Railroad Administration’s draft guidance for the state development of rail plans.

The joint submission emphasized four areas:

  1. Praise of the planning process presented in the guidance, with a caution that flexibility and context will be important elements in the planning process.
  2. Recognition that regional (multi-state) coordination is a vital secondary purpose of state rail plans, and encouraging federal investment in a Midwest multi-state rail planning effort that builds on the foundations laid by MIPRC and the MWRRI. 
  3. Asking the Federal Railroad Administration to carefully integrate the freight provisions found in Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). 
  4. Offering recommendations regarding the process of FRA’s approval of state rail plans.

Read the joint MIPRC/MWRRI comments here.

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Indiana Gateway project obligation -- a milestone for the Midwest!
Thursday, September 13, 2012 

Yesterday, the US DOT announced it has obligated funding for track improvements to eight key areas on 29 miles of track owned by Norfolk Southern between Porter, Indiana and the Illinois/Indiana border. Known as the “Indiana Gateway Project,” this is the final major project to be obligated of more than $2.5 billion in funding awarded to Midwestern states under the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program. The HSIPR had four rounds of funding awards between January 2010 and May 2011.

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MIPRC stresses need for dedicated multi-year federal funding for all modes, including passenger rail
Thursday, May 17, 2012 

This week, MIPRC sent a letter to the conferees to the federal surface transportation reauthorization, stressing the need for dedicated, multi-year multimodal funding, and making the case that passenger rail be included.

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RFP issued for new passenger rail cars on 8 Midwestern corridors
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 

Secretary LaHood has announced a $551 million RFP for the U.S. manufacturing of approximately 130 new bi-level passenger rail cars, including 88 passenger cars that will run on 8 corridors in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and potentially Iowa. Illinois is the lead Midwestern state on the joint passenger rail equipment purchase that was awarded $268 million through the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program last May (2011). In addition, two other HSIPR awards that Illinois received (for the Chicago-St. Louis and Chicago-Omaha corridors) have additional funding for equipment included.


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MIPRC Provides Input into FFY 2013 Transportation Appropriations
Friday, April 13, 2012 

MIPRC officers sent a letter to members of the US House and Senate appropriations subcommittees on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD), asking that key funding for passenger rail development be included in the federal FY 2013 appropriations. The commission requested $1.050 billion for the HSIPR program (the amount authorized in PRIIA); $500 million for the TIGER program and $2.167 billion in operating and capital support for Amtrak.

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Midwest now home to first 110 mph corridor outside of Northeast!
Friday, February 10, 2012 

This week, the Michigan DOT and Amtrak received federal approval to begin 110 mph service between Porter, Indiana and Kalamazoo, Michigan on the Chicago-Detroit (Wolverine service) and Chicago-Port Huron (Blue Water service) routes the first outside of the Northeast Corridor!

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Another record year for passenger rail in the Midwest!
Monday, October 17, 2011 

Passenger rail ridership on state-supported and other shorter distance corridors (less than 750 miles) in the Midwest continues to thrive. Ridership on these nine routes grew by 5.4 percent in FY 2011, and exceeded the 2.9 million mark. Over the past five years, corridor ridership in the Midwest has grown by 54 percent. Nationwide, Amtrak experienced an all-time ridership record of 30.2 million passengers for the fiscal year, which ended September 30.

Michigan’s Blue Water service between Chicago and Port Huron experienced the region's largest ridership increase, up 18.6 percent, while ridership increases on Illinois’ Illini/Saluki service between Chicago and Carbondale followed close behind, at 18.2 percent.


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Passenger rail development is MOVING in in the Midwest!
Thursday, October 06, 2011 

Passenger rail development is MOVING in our region, as well as the nation! As of yesterday, the Federal Railroad Administration has obligated funding for 72 of the 77 projects award through the stimulus (ARRA), the initial funding made available under the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program – almost $7.8 billion of the $8 billion has been signed off, with agreements in place, almost a year in advance of the deadline! Also, Amtrak has had a record ridership year – more than 30 million riders! We’ll give you the specifics for the region as soon as they’re available.

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FRA and Midwestern states reach cooperative agreement for joint equipment purchase
Wednesday, August 03, 2011 

Today, U.S. Secretary Ray LaHood announced that Illinois and California (as the lead states) have reached cooperative agreements with the Federal Railroad Administration to begin a multi-state procurement of passenger rail equipment for corridors in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon and Washington State.

For the Midwest, this HSIPR program funding obligation is $ 268,201,084, and encompasses the purchase of 48 passenger rail cars and 7 locomotives for 8 corridors in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Missouri. The award was announced in May, and the states and FRA have been working diligently to secure the agreements necessary to obligate the funding.

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MIPRC Commissioners meet with Members of Congress to stress importance of federal commitment to passenger rail development
Monday, June 20, 2011 

On June 15, MIPRC commissioners met with more than 40 Midwestern members of Congress and their staff to stress the importance of continuing to build a strong federal/state partnership for passenger rail development. Commissioners presented a letter detailing the commission’s recommendations.

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Updated chart on HSIPR awards to Midwestern states
Thursday, May 19, 2011 
Midwestern states have received awards of more than $2.5 billion to date from the federal High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program. The attached updated chart reflects awards announced May 9, as well as redistributed funding from previous award announcements.
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Midwest receives more than one-third of new federal funds for HSIPR
Monday, May 09, 2011 
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.
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.

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Midwestern states position themselves to receive additional HSIPR federal funding
Friday, April 08, 2011 
Midwestern states have submitted 27 applications with a total ask of about $2.2 billion in federal funding consideration under the FRA's March 11 Notice of Funding Availiability (NOFA). The deadline for submission was April 4.
The largest application is a four-state collective procurement request, which if funded will bring modern locomotives and trainsets to 8 routes in the region.
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.
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MIPRC asks that the Midwest receive priority in redirecting HSIPR grant funds from Florida
Sunday, March 06, 2011 

Florida’s governor has made a final decision to turn down the $2.4 billion in funding that his state had been awarded through the two rounds of federal High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program funding.
MIPRC hopes that Midwestern states will be given first dibs on that funding, and believes the region has a strong rationale for its request.
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MIPRC Director Submits Testimony to US House T&I Committee Field Hearing
Friday, February 25, 2011 
Laura Kliewer, MIPRC's director, attended and submitted testimony to the US House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee hearing on Feb. 20 in DuPage County, Illinois. The hearing was part of the committee's listening tour on surface transportation reauthorization. Kliewer asked that Congress include passenger rail development as a key component to any reauthorization of the federal surface transportation program.
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President Obama reiterates his commitment to the expansion of passenger rail
Wednesday, January 26, 2011 
President Obama reiterated his commitment to high-speed rail in his 2011 State of the Union address. The President said that "within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail" and emphasized that "(a)s we speak, routes in California and the Midwest are already underway.""
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MIPRC Advocacy Positions
Thursday, December 16, 2010 
We have posted an updated list of MIPRC's advocacy positions; these points have been communicated to Members of Congress and other federal officials in recent months.
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New federal funding for passenger rail projects across the Midwest will mean faster, more reliable and new service for the region
Friday, October 29, 2010 
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.
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Train ridership in the Midwest reaches record numbers
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 
Travelers across the Midwest are taking the train in record numbers, according to FY 2010 ridership and revenue numbers released by Amtrak this month. Almost 2.8 million people took the train on short-distance corridor service within the region last year – an 8 percent increase over FY 2009.
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MIPRC’s chair testifies before US House rail subcommittee
Thursday, April 22, 2010 
On Tuesday, MIPRC Chair Rep. Elaine Nekritz (Illinois) testified on behalf of the commission before the rail subcommittee of the U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. The subcommittee was holding a field hearing in Chicago on High-Speed Rail Grants Awarded under the Recovery Act.
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Kansas Joins Compact!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 

Today Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson signed HB 2552 into law, which enacts the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Compact in that state. Kansas is the 11th state to join the MIPRC.
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Midwest wins big in $8 billion nationwide high speed and intercity passenger rail awards from federal stimulus
Saturday, January 30, 2010 
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.
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White House list includes funding for each Midwestern state that applied
Thursday, January 28, 2010 
According to a summary list and fact sheets posted on the White House web site late last night, each Midwestern state that applied for a portion of the $8 billion stimulus funding available through the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program has received funding for one or more project. In total, the Midwest will receive funding over $2.6 billion.
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FRA announcements awarding $8 billion for passenger rail projects expected tomorrow
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 

According to media and state sources, tomorrow the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will announce which passenger rail projects will receive a portion of the $8 billion in funding provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
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Midwestern states submit $11.6 billion in applications for ARRA passenger rail funding
Thursday, October 08, 2009 
The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) issued a press release on October 7 reporting that Midwestern states submitted a total of $11.6 billion in applications for the funding that was provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AARA) for passenger rail capital development. The release also provided detailed comparative information on the Midwestern states' applications.
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MIPRC provides input into FRA interim guidance for ARRA passenger rail funding
Friday, June 12, 2009 
MIPRC Commissioners provided input on the interim guidance being developed by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for distribution of the $8 billion in funding for passenger rail service provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
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President Obama issues strategic plan for $8 billion passenger rail funding
Friday, April 17, 2009 
Yesterday President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary LaHood released the strategic plan for allocating the $8 billion in passenger rail funding provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The plan also gives insight into the process for project funding going forward (with a planned $1 billion investment per year over five years).
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Congress Passes Economic Stimulus Bill with Big Boost for Passenger Rail
Saturday, February 14, 2009 
Last night, the U.S. Senate passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2008 conference report. The news is very, very good for passenger rail. $8 billion will be provided in capital assistance for intercity and high speed rail development (the Secretary of the US DOT will have flexibility in deciding how the amounts are apportioned between the two programs).


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MIPRC and Allies Call on Congress to Increase Funding for Rail in Stimulus
Monday, February 02, 2009 
MIPRC commissioners and allies across the region held press conferences and issued press releases on Thursday, January 29 and Friday, January 30, calling on Congress and the Obama administration to include substantive funding for passenger rail in the federal stimulus package currently being debated in Congress.
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December 2008: The MIPRC holds its fall meeting in Omaha, Nebraska
Monday, December 22, 2008 

The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) held its fall meeting in Omaha, Nebraska on December 3 & 4, in conjunction with The Council of State Governments’ national annual meeting.
"The meeting was very well-attended, and we certainly had plenty to talk about, especially with the recent enactment of new federal legislation that renews Amtrak’s authorization for five years and provides the first substantive state grant program for intercity passenger rail development,” said Rep. Charlie Schlottach, MIPRC’s chair, who presided over the two-day meeting.
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October 2008: Growing Passenger Rail Ridership Spurs New Hope for the Midwest
Wednesday, October 22, 2008 
This month, Amtrak released its annual ridership numbers for FY 2008. The news is good, and, as it should, the release received quite a bit of press coverage. For the fifth year, the MIPRC has also crunched the numbers to provide a ridership picture for the Midwest.
For the MIPRC press release, please click here.  For Amtrak ridership figures for 2004 through 2008, please click here.
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October 2008: President Bush signs HR 2095
Friday, October 17, 2008 
President Bush signed HR 2095 on October 16, which contains the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act. The act reauthorizes Amtrak for five years and provides authorization for significant new programs and funding!
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September 2008: The Federal Railroad Administration announces grant funding to states for intercity passenger rail development and planning
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 
The Federal Railroad Administration announced its first grant funding to states for intercity passenger rail development and planning. The Midwest won big, receiving almost half of the funding; five of the 11 states to receive funding are Midwestern states. Altogether, the five states (Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin) received funding for seven projects, totaling over $13 million of the $30 million awarded.
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September 2008: The MIPRC sends letter to Speaker Pelosi requesting funding for passenger rail
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 
Upon learning that Speaker Nancy Pelosi was considering including substantial transportation infrastructure funding in an economic stimulus package, MIPRC’s chair Missouri Rep. Charlie Schlottach sent a letter to her on behalf of the MIPRC requesting that funding for passenger rail be included in the package.

In the letter, Rep. Schlottach specifically requests funding that would refurbish train equipment. He cites the need to bring additional train cars into service, which would stimulate the economy and create jobs, while improving the nation's transportation system. (To read the letter to Speaker Pelosi, please click here).
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August 2008: The MIPRC signs on as supporter of Trains CARS Act of 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 
In late July, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the Train CARS (Creating American Rolling Stock) Act of 2008 (S. 3360). The bill would create jobs and help Amtrak meet the increasing demand for an efficient, cost-effective and reliable alternative mode of travel. Durbin’s bill aims to promote the replacement and rehabilitation of Amtrak’s aging fleet of passenger cars and to revive the train car industry in the United States. The MIPRC has signed on as a supporter of the bill.
During its June visits with Members of Congress, the MIPRC highlighted the urgent need for increased federal funding for passenger rail train overhauling and the purchase of new equipment (see MIPRC press release). As ridership has exploded across the country, Amtrak is having trouble keeping up with demand because of the lack of passenger rail train cars and equipment.
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July 2008: Amtrak Reauthorization
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 
Before Members of Congress began their summer recess, the House appointed members to the conference committee on S. 294, the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2007. Conferees from the Midwest include Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN); Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL); Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA); and Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) - all members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. On the Senate side, conferees were not named before the break, following a procedural objection by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).
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July 2008: MIPRC Commissioners call on Congress for funding for passenger rail
Sunday, July 13, 2008 
Delegates of the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission met with members of Congress on June 18 to express support of the substantive passenger rail legislation passed by both chambers and to encourage policies and funding to increase passenger rail service.
Both H.R. 6003 and S. 294 would reauthorize Amtrak and provide for the first multi-year federal program to provide funding for passenger rail improvements and equipment investments.
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June 2008: U.S. House passes HR 6003 by a veto-proof margin
Thursday, June 12, 2008 
The U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 6003, the Passenger Rail Improvement and Investment Act, by a veto-proof margin (311 to 104)  please click here for the final vote results on June 11 (summary of the bill). The bill will now go to conference committee to reconcile differences between it and S 294 (which passed the Senate last October, 70-22). Conferees have not yet been named.
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May 2008: U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee unveils rail legislation
Friday, May 09, 2008 
Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar, chair of the U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, unveiled legislation on May 8 that will infuse substantive funding and needed policy changes into the development of passenger rail infrastructure.  The measure is co-sponsored by more than 30 other members of the committee, including Ranking Member John Mica, Rail Subcommittee Chair Corrine Brown and Subcommittee Ranking Member Bill Shuster.
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April 2008: Quad Cities to Iowa City feasibility study released
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 
On April 18, the state of Iowa and Amtrak released the study on establishing new passenger rail service between the Quad Cities (Moline, East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois and Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa) and Iowa City. Building on a feasibility study completed last fall that would establish first-ever Amtrak service between Chicago and the Quad Cities, the 59-mile extension is making history in Iowa.
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April 2008: The MIPRC unveils new website
Wednesday, April 02, 2008 
The MIPRC has launched its new website to better serve our commissioners and member states. Highlights of the site include: maps of existing and proposed rail systems in the region; information about the work of the MIPRC; and, access to a broad range of passenger rail news and information. We hope you find the site easy to navigate and we welcome your feedback.
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March 2008: Wisconsin joins the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission
Thursday, March 20, 2008 
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle signed Senate Bill 72, making Wisconsin the tenth state to join the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Compact.
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February 2008: Criteria for Capital Assistance to States - Intercity Passenger Rail Service Program Published
Friday, February 29, 2008 
The Federal Register published the criteria for applying for the Capital Assistance to States Intercity Passenger Rail Service Program, the first capital assistance grant program for intercity passenger rail projects (funded at $30 million for the current fiscal year). Applications can be submitted as soon as March 18, and will be accepted through September 30, 2009 "or the date on which all available funds will have been committed under this program."  
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February 2008: Federal budget proposal for FY '09 for passenger rail
Saturday, February 09, 2008 
News from the Director:  In early February, President Bush unveiled his FY 2009 budget proposal, which holds mixed news for passenger rail.
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January 2008: National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission report released
Saturday, February 09, 2008 
News from the Director: Transportation for Tomorrow: Report of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission released in January. 
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December 2007: Passenger Rail Working Group releases recommendations for intercity rail
Saturday, February 09, 2008 
News from the Director:  The Passenger Rail Working Group (PRWG) released its recommendations for the future of intercity passenger rail in the United States.
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MIPRC Chair and Director Testify in Kansas
Thursday, January 24, 2008 
News from the Director:  The Kansas Legislature is considering joining the MIPRC.  Missouri Rep. Schlottach, MIPRC Chair, and Laura Kliewer, MIPRC Director, had the privilege of testifying before the Kansas Special Committee on Transportation.
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MIPRC State Meetings
Thursday, January 24, 2008 
News from the Director:  During the MIPRC spring 2007 meeting in Washington, D.C., commissioners decided that one of the organization's top priorities for the fiscal year should be for each state delegation, with the help of MIPRC staff, to develop state-specific plans for advancing passenger rail.  Laura Kliewer, MIPRC director, and MIPRC commissioners have conducted several of these meetings.
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