Changes are coming in the way the State of Iowa manages money for passenger rail service. Governor Chet Culver went to the Freight House in Davenport yesterday to sign a bill into law that redirects state efforts to maintain existing rail lines and build new ones.
"Senate File 151 is about our rail infrastructure and making sure that Iowa stays on the forefront in terms of getting that passenger rail, ultimately, from Chicago to Iowa City and then eventually on to Des Moines," Culver said.
The federal economic stimulus package includes about $8 billion for passenger rail nationwide and the borrowing plan Culver convinced state legislators to embrace sets aside $3 million in state money for passenger rail. An Amtrak link between Davenport and Chicago is estimated to cost $23 million. Experts say it would cost another $32.5 million to extend that passenger rail service to Iowa City.