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Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study open house public hearings announced

This news story was published on December 10, 2012.
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AMES, Iowa – Dec. 10, 2012 – The Iowa Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration and Illinois Department of Transportation, has scheduled in-person public hearings and online, self-directed meetings for the Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study.

Public input will be sought on the Draft Tier 1 Service Level Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), including the project’s purpose and need, all reasonable alternatives, the affected environment, and the potential environmental impacts of the alternatives considered. The basis for recommendation of the preferred route alternative will be presented. Preliminary reports, including environmental documents with exhibits and maps, will be available for review.

Each public hearing and online meeting will contain the same presented information, so individuals can attend in-person at the public hearing, or view and comment at the online meeting. We encourage all those interested to participate. The public hearings will be conducted the week of Dec. 11, 2012, using a combined informal open forum and formal format. Iowa DOT staff will be available to discuss the project informally between 4 and 5:30 p.m. A formal presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session concluding at 7 p.m.

The public is invited to attend the open house public hearing at the following locations.
Chicago, Ill.
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012
Chicago Union Station, 500 W. Jackson St., Great Hall Gallery

Des Moines, Iowa
Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012
Des Moines Botanical Center, 909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Oak/Willow Room

Council Bluffs, Iowa
Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012
Council Bluffs Public Library, 400 Willow Ave., Conference Room A/B

An online, self-directed open house public hearing will be available through Dec. 26, 2012, on the study’s website at Information included on this website will be identical to the presentation made at the in-person meetings.

Comments on the Draft Tier 1 EIS can be provided in multiple ways through Dec. 26, 2012, to be considered part of the official public comment record:

  • Leave a comment on the study website.
  • Submit a comment at any of the in-person open house public hearings.
  • Email a comment to
  • Send a written comment form by mail to Amanda Martin, Iowa Department of Transportation, 800 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa 50010.
  • Call the study’s toll-free information line at 800-488-7119. (Printed hearing materials may be requested using this information line.)

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2 Responses to Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study open house public hearings announced

  1. Avatar

    Observer Reply Report comment

    December 10, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    I am from Chicago! Does that mean I am not wanted here? You paint with an awfully broad brush!

    Besides, your remarks have nothing at all to do with the topic at hand.

    Illinois has built a very robust regional passenger rail system in the last two decades. One line now has tested at 111 mph, and can sustain that almost the entire trip. They have worked on many different safety projects in conjunction with those higher speeds. The state runs 28 daily intercity trains, carrying nearly 2 million passengers per year. The service has been seeing 3-4% increases in ridership year over year.

    IL also has one of the best commuter rail systems in the nation, providing over 82.7 million rides per year over it’s ten lines. Other Metro areas come to Chicago to see how it is done!

    And just so you don’t feel left out, none of the communities along those lines have had problems with crime increasing because of Chicagoans moving ‘downstate’!

    There might not be a lot in IL that is going right, but with transportation, they are offering their citizens more choices.

  2. Avatar

    Bobby G Reply Report comment

    December 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Forget that the cops can’t handle the crap were getting out of Chicago already. Fill up your own jails in Illinois. Des Moines is getting hit by gangs and we don’t need people getting killed everyday.