Washington, DC - May 9, 2011 - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) announced that Iowa will benefit from over $268 million awarded to five Midwestern states for the continued development of high speed rail lines.
This award allows for the purchase of 48 passenger rail cars and 7 locomotives for 8 corridors in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan and Wisconsin. These new cars and locomotives will be able to travel up to speeds of 125 mph to comply with the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008. The new equipment will replace aging Amtrak equipment with cars that add capacity for anticipated usage, improve operational reliability and reduce operating costs.
"Today`s announcement is great news for Iowans and our neighbors," Braley said. "Passenger rail is critical to the continued economic development of the region. This is one more step to create jobs and put Iowa`s economy back on track."
In October, the Department of Transportation awarded $230 million in federal funding for a new Amtrak route between Chicago and Iowa City through the Quad Cities. The project is scheduled for completion in 2015 and will create 588 jobs per year for the first four years of design and construction. Once initiated, the new rail service is expected to increase business activity by $25 million per year.