Community tool kit now available for the Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study


April 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

In a follow-up to a story we first brought in early February, officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) , on Friday, announced that a community tool kit is now available for use by community groups interested in speaking to their members, about a study being conducted by the DOT, on bringing high speed passenger rail service from Chicago, IL., to Omaha, NE. The study is being conducted in cooperation with the  Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Illinois Department of Transportation. The DOT is studying the feasibility of expanding existing passenger rail service and developing a new regional passenger rail service from Chicago to Omaha, Neb., and the purpose of this study is to: Evaluate potential route alternatives; Evaluate levels of service and ridership; Analyze environmental impacts; and, determine a preferred Chicago to Omaha passenger rail route alternative for regional intercity passenger rail service. Officials say the study will be a major step in assessing the viability of a regional intercity passenger rail system serving Iowa and the Midwest through the corridor and public input is a major component of the study.

The FRA and the Iowa and Illinois DOTs have made the community tool kit available online at under the “resources” tab. Community leaders and others interested in the information can download the following electronic materials related to the study.

  • PowerPoint ® presentation
  • Pocket card with a brief description of the study goals
  • Fact sheet with more in-depth study information
  • Social media Facebook banner for timeline format
  • Social media image that can be used as profile picture on Facebook or Twitter
  • 11-by-17 poster
  • Survey that will also be used at in-person public meetings in early May 2012.

Public comments provide valuable input and contribute to the development of a complete environmental analysis. The Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and planning effort will take approximately 18 months to complete. Comments will be collected throughout the EIS development phase. All comments received will be reviewed and considered. For more information, visit or call 800-488-7119.