July 29, 2011

FRA releases high-speed rail grants to Iowa, Nev.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) awarded high-speed rail grants to Iowa and Nevada to develop statewide rail plans as part of the FRA’s efforts to develop an integrated passenger rail network.

The Iowa Department of Transportation (IADOT) received $400,000 to develop a freight and passenger rail transportation model which will expand on Iowa’s existing statewide travel demand model used in rail planning activities and to update its 2009 State Rail Plan (SRP). 

The passenger rail component of the model will allow IADOT to forecast passenger rail ridership along potential corridors, which is essential in prioritizing rail corridor projects and to Iowa’s vision of developing a passenger rail network. Iowa will contribute $100,000 toward this project. 

The Nevada Department of Transportation received $640,000 to fund the completion of the Nevada State Rail Plan. The plan will create a state policy on freight and passenger rail transportation to enhance rail service and serve as the basis for future federal and state rail investments. Nevada is contributing $345,699.

The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 outlines requirements for SRPs. Projects must be part of the rail plan to be eligible for capital investment grants.

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