Mayor Thallemer Signs Memorandum For Rail Line

Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer and the mayors of eight other cities announced that they will sign a memorandum of agreement calling for cooperation in development of a Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus passenger rail line, according to a press release from Thallemer’s office. The Ohio cities represented in the agreement are Columbus, Marysville, Kenton and Lima. The Indiana cities include Fort Wayne, Warsaw, Plymouth, Valparaiso and Gary. The memorandum calls for the parties “to systematically and incrementally develop the higher speed rail intercity system in cooperation with existing freight rail operators and owners of right‐of-way along a corridor from Chicago to Columbus through northern Indiana hereafter known as the Northern Indiana/Ohio High Speed Rail Initiative.” The memorandum resolves that the parties will work together to secure funding for the federally required environmental impact study, the next step in developing the passenger rail line. The study would examine the preliminary engineering, technical analysis, service planning and environmental impacts along several different routes in order to determine the preferred route for the rail lines. This study could begin in late 2014 and would take 18 months to complete. Once complete, the study  would be submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration.