The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded Iowa $400,000 for use in expanding its transportation model. The director of the Iowa D.O.T.’s Office of Rail Transportation, Tammy Nicholson, says it allows them to update the model.
Nicholson says they have the model that already has the road system in it, and this money will allow them to update the model to include rail transportation. Nicholson says the recent announcement of the addition of rail service from Chicago to Iowa City via the Quad Cities, requires more planning.
Nicholson says as they look at the long-range plans and how they will invest in the next five to 20 years, adding rail gives them a better handle on the future needs, and adding capacity for the rail system or highways. Nicholson says the additional planning will help the overall rail system.
She says they see it as a benefit to the passenger service, but also for the freight system too, as it will them a better understanding of how the freight is moving the investments needed in the freight network through the state. The state will kick in $100,000 to make the total cost of the planning project $500,000.