President Obama has named ten possible rail corridors in the running for rail projects. All money for those projects will come from the stimulus package. And near the top of that list, the Midwest. “They are going to fund rail projects where there is a high level of cooperation between states and I think it's going on in this region” says Tom Hayhurst, Co-Chairman of the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association (NIPRA).
Hayhurst says that is mainly due to the cooperation among Midwest states.
“The government and Federal Rail Authority knows the Midwest are cooperating and working together in their applications” adds Hayhurst.
Midwest states have worked closely together to promote a rail network with Chicago to serve as the main hub.
“If we had passenger trains running through here three or four times a day heading to Cleveland, heading to Chicago, that would be a big step forward” says Hayhurst.
Tomorrow, representatives from Midwest rail associations will be meeting at the Baker Street Station to discuss how best to bring passenger rail service to the Midwest. Representatives are expected from Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois. They'll be discussing funding issues and the next steps necessary in obtaining federal stimulus dollars for high speed passenger rail service. We'll have the latest for you tomorrow night on Fox Fort Wayne News.