A slate of public meetings next week will focus on recent efforts and remaining steps to secure funding for a proposed passenger rail line between Chicago, Fort Wayne and Columbus, Ohio. The first will be in Lima, Ohio, while the latter three will be in Indiana — Fort Wayne, Warsaw and Valparaiso.

Organized by the Northern Indiana Passenger Rail Association, the meetings will include presentations from Missouri-based consultant HNTB Corp. The firm has been hired to develop a federally-required analysis of the project that is part of the federal funding process.

Plans for the proposed Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus corridor call for a passenger rail connection that could reach some 100 Midwest cities through a regional rail network. The trains would initially travel up to nearly 80 miles per-hour and potentially increased to a 110 miles per-hour top speed.

HNTB, NIPRA and the Federal Railroad Administration have collaborated on the development of:

  • a Purpose and Need Statement
  • a Public Involvement Plan
  • an analysis of the route options
  • service alternatives along the preferred route
  • preliminary engineering to develop high-level cost estimates based on the chosen service alternatives

The meetings and locations include:

  • Tuesday, October 23, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Lima Municipal Center in Lima, Ohio
  • Wednesday, October 24, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Allen County Public Library at 900 Library Plaza in Fort Wayne
  • Wednesday, October 24, 5:00-7:00 p.m., City Hall in Warsaw
  • Thursday, October 25, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce building in Valparaiso

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