Iowa could see dramatically improved passenger rail service under a bill now being considered in Congress.Henry Wulff, president of the Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers, says the High Speed Rail Investment Act would enable regional groups to sell tax-exempt bonds to the public.Those bonds would pay for the upgrading of tracks and the zippy new trains. The nationwide proposal could cost 12-billion dollars. A nine-state group, the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, has already been formed to pursue the project. The trains would cruise at 80-miles an hour in Iowa and could go even faster in other states. Wulff says the high-speed trains could compete with regional airlines by reducing the time it takes to get to Chicago from Des Moines by nearly two hours.Wulff says Council Bluffs, Atlantic, Des Moines, Newton, Grinnell, Iowa City and Davenport could all see enhanced passenger rail service, with trips from Des Moines to Chicago, for example, cut by two hours.
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