IDOT gives updates on push for high-speed railway through Iowa City

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 5:38 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - A high speed railway through Iowa City has long been debated and discussed. Iowa Department of Transportation Rail Director Amanda Martin recalls some of the first regional studies done to support the idea.

“We did some of our initial studies with Illinois and Amtrak to see if this would be feasible. Those were back in 2008 and 2009. We submitted an application based on that information,” she said.

One of the biggest obstacles IDOT would need to overcome to support such a railway is how to pay for it.

“We do not have any financial match for any grants up to this point, so that would be a legislative decision,” said Martin.

She says the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal that President Biden signed into law last November has the potential to be a huge help towards this goal.

“There’s a lot of funding that’s going to support passenger rail efforts, but again, we’ve got to get that service to Moline, then we can consider how to move on beyond that.”

Nick Pfeiffer with Think Iowa City agrees that the infrastructure deal could help move this project forward. But other obstacles means it could still be a distant concept for the area.

“It’s definitely a long-term process. It will still be several years before anything comes to fruition, if it does,” he said.

This railway would go in where the Iowa City train station is now, between Clinton and Dubuque Street.

Martin says Amtrak would likely be the provider to take control of this railway.

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