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.
As the press release stated, “More than 90 freight trains and 14 Amtrak intercity passenger trains currently travel the area between the Indiana/Illinois State border and Porter, Indiana, every day,” and this funding will provide critical congestion relief and job generation.
MIPRC is glad to see this final key award obligated. Congratulations to the Indiana DOT, Norfolk Southern, Amtrak and the FRA for making it happen!
A full list of all HSIPR awards to Midwestern states, by corridor, can be accessed here.
Since 2010, $10.1 billion has been awarded to states to make passenger rail planning and capital improvements though the HSIPR program. Funding was provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and additional appropriations in FY 2009 and FY 2010. The HSIPR had four rounds of funding awards between January 2010 and May 2011.
However, no additional funding for the HSIPR program has been appropriated since FY 2010, a fact that will need to change if the Midwest is to continue its plans to bring more reliable, faster and more frequent passenger rail service to the region.