Another round of public hearings is set on the Chicago-to-Omaha rail study.
One of the three public hearings is Thursday in Council Bluffs. Last May, Iowa DOT officials presented six options for passenger rail service between Chicago and Omaha.
Amanda Martin is with the Iowa DOT’s Office of Rail Transportation. She says the new draft Environmental Impact Statement confirms that the chosen route, which runs parallel to I-80, is the best option. “It would have the best ridership, it would have the best speed, and as far as it meeting the purpose and need, which is incorporated in to the alternative analysis report, which is what we did in the spring, it meets the purpose and need the best.”
The Iowa DOT says as many as seven trains per day could run along the preferred route, with speeds up to 110 miles per hour. Passenger rail stations would tentatively be located in Omaha, Council Bluffs, Atlantic, Des Moines, Grinnell, and Iowa City.
Thursday’s hearing begins at 5:30 at the Council Bluffs Public Library.
An online open house for public comments will be available at www.iowadot.gov/chicagotoomaha through December 26.