The Iowa Department of Transportation has announced three public hearings and an online “hearing” on its study to revive rail passenger service across the state from Chicago to Omaha.
The Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study designated the Iowa Interstate Railroad’s route as the most promising option for a new service. The route serves the Quad Cities, Iowa City, and Des Moines.
The Iowa Interstate will host new trains between Chicago and Moline starting in 2015, but there are no current plans to extend that service to Iowa City and beyond. IDOT, the Illinois Department of Transportation, and the Federal Railroad Administration are taking public comment on the project’s draft environmental impact statement.
The traditional public hearings will be held at 5:30 p.m., with comments taken starting at 7:00:
Chicago Union Station, 500 W. Jackson St., Great Hall Gallery
Des Moines Botanical Center, 909 Robert D. Ray Dr., Oak/Willow Room
Council Bluffs Public Library, 400 Willow Ave., Conference Room A/B
The online, self-directed open house public hearing will be available through Dec. 26, on the study’s website at www.iowadot.gov/chicagotoomaha/. Information included on this website will be identical to the presentation made at the in-person meetings.