“We need passenger rail back in Fort Wayne” says Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. How to bring passenger rail back to Fort Wayne: thats on everyone’s minds today at the Baker Street Station. “The greatest form of economic development that anyone can do is improvements to transportation” says Senator Tom Wyss. Senator Wyss along with The Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association organized the forum. Commissioner Mike Reed spoke on behalf of Governor Daniels support of passenger rail. “INDOT has prepared an application for an ARRA fund in the amount of 49-million dollars” says Reed. That 49-million, if approved, would fund an environmental study which would help decide which passenger rail alternative is better: the northern or southern route. The northern alternative route would go from Chicago to South Bend and over to Toledo. The southern route would go from Chicago to Fort Wayne and over to Toledo and Cleveland. An environmental study was done in 2002, and showed that the southern route was the more viable option. “Hopefully the study will validate the 2002 study that Fort Wayne is the preferred alternative” says Reed. But should Fort Wayne and the southern route be chosen, another key question needs to be asked: Will the route be economically viable? “Weve been without it for long enough now and I think its time we get it back” says passenger rail supporter Fred Gruettert. Gruetterts father was hit and killed by a train, but still fights on for passenger rail. “He lost his father by a train. He still loves the train. Weve been trying to take a trip on a train for a long time. We need this and so does the economy” says Gruettert’s wife Mary Lou. The pre-application for the stimulus grant will be turned in tomorrow. A decision on whether or not it was approved will happen by the end of the year, likely in December. An environmental study will then take place. It is likely to be complete by 2012.