"All Aboard" for Passenger Rail Study

By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

February 24, 2012 Updated Feb 24, 2012 at 5:39 PM EST

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - The idea of restoring passenger rail service from Fort Wayne to Chicago is back on track.

At least it's getting closer to being studied in-depth.

Amtrak offered rides to Chicago on a daily basis back in the 1980's.

The company suspended that service a couple of decades ago, as people now have to drive up to Waterloo in Dekalb County to hitch a train ride to the Windy City.

Friday, the Allen County Commissioners agreed to pay $20,000 towards an $80,000 study into whether the Fort Wayne to Chicago train service might be restored.

How much it would cost to fix the track is one answer being sought in the study.

The number could top $700-million.

Communities along the route might be asked to adopt a local option income tax to fund the improvements.

Richard Davis/N.E. Ind. Passenger Rail Assoc.: " We'd like to think outside the box. The ordinary frameworks that we have, haven't worked very well. But let's try another way."

Reporter: " Do you think that would go over well with people?"

Therese Brown/(R) Allen County Commissioner: " I don't know. I think at this stage, the study is important to get done to really look at what improvements would need to be done."

The study would commence as soon as the $80,000 gets raised.

The local rail association is already more than half way there.

It's supposed to take between three and six months to complete.




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