High Speed Rail Service Proposed from Chicago to Columbus


Representatives from the Northern Indiana Passenger Rail Association recently came before the Plymouth Board of Public Works to propose its idea of a high speed passenger rail service on existing rail lines that would extend from Chicago, Ill. to Columbus, Ohio with 11 stops in Indiana – Plymouth being one of them.

The NIPRA recently obtained funding for a feasibility study that addressed assessment of the market, engineering needs, an operating plan, and financial and economic returns. According to an article in The Pilot News, the operating plan examines the use of diesel powered trains operating anywhere from 110-130 mph. Trains traveling at 110 mph would provide a four hour long train service from Chicago to Columbus. In Indiana, the trains would stop in Gary, Valparaiso, Plymouth, Warsaw, Fort Wayne, and in Ohio the trains would stop in Lima, Kenton, Marysville, Columbus downtown and Columbus airport. The trains would operate round trip from Chicago to Columbus.

Pricing would be set at $.34 a mile, business class would be $29 and economy fare is 20 percent less not including discount pricing.

According to the account of the meeting discussion, the feasibility study also found that 12,000 temporary jobs and 26,800 permanent jobs would be created with this rail service which would generate more revenue for communities along the line.

No decision was made at this meeting as it was for information only. Representatives from the NIPRA are expected to go before Valparaiso city officials soon with a similar presentation.