Price Rises for Iowa City-Chicago Rail Service

A train pulling executive coaches from the Iowa Interstate Railroad pulls up to the old Rock Island line train depot Tuesday, May 5, 2009 in Iowa City. The train was dropping off passengers returning from a meeting in the Moline, Ill. to discuss establishment of intercity passenger rail services in Iowa, with an initial focus on routes from Iowa City to the Quad Cities to Chicago, and Dubuque to Chicago. The meeting was sponsored by the Iowa Department of Transportation. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)


By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — It would cost Iowa more money than initially projected for passenger rail service between Iowa City and Chicago.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen says the federal government allocated $210 million in 2010 but required a local match. Illinois is moving forward with its portion of the project, but not Iowa.

Iowa would have been obligated to contribute $21.8 million in initial support, but that's grown to $72 million because of inflation, new infrastructure regulations and more improvements to accommodate freight growth.

A memo by assistant to the city manager Geoff Fruin says the project had required just 20 percent state support to advance, but now it would require 58 percent support.

Iowa Sen. Matt McCoy says he's pessimistic about the Iowa City-Chicago line's funding chances in the Capitol next year.

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