New Midwest Regional Rail Plan

(Undated) -- The new Midwest Regional Rail plan is out, recommending a high speed rail line from Chicago to the west and back, with key stops in the Quad Cities, Iowa City, Des Moines and Omaha, then on to Denver and San Francisco.

Another future recommendation would build a high speed rail line from Minneapolis through Des Moines and Kansas City.

Some critics say rail is too expensive when the country already has established highways.

"Keep in mind that our highway system is not financially stable, but with that in mind the rail system would be financially stable." Says

Rick Harnish, Executive Director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, a proponent of the plan. He says the existing track could be be used for the high speed passenger lines.

"It would mean coming to an agreement with the Iowa Interstate Railroad, who owns the tracks, to upgrade them for faster speed, like 80 to 90 miles an hour." Harnish says.

The group Pro-Rail Nebraska supports expansion of passenger rail in the state, from city commuter rail to the Midwest High Speed Rail plan.

The new Midwest regional Rail plan from the Federal Railroad Administration and the Department of Transportation would rely on states to co-fund the railroad expansion.

Several states on the proposed high speed rail map are not considered likely to support that idea.

CLICK HERE for full Midwest Regional Rail Plan.

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