01/15/14 Members of the Plymouth Board of Public Works and Safety heard from the President of the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association, Fred Lanahan. Currently there are 15 members in the association representing many of the communities along the route from Chicago to Columbus.
The high-speed rail which runs 110 m.p.h. starts in Chicago and goes through Gary, Valparaiso, Plymouth, Warsaw, Fort Wayne, Lima, Ohio and a couple other communities in Ohio before getting to Columbus. Currently the association is raising funds for a tier 1environmental study.
Lanahan told the City Council it costs $.34a mile to ride the train. A ticket from Plymouth to Chicago in Business Class would cost $29.00 while the Economy class ticket is a 20% reduction at $23.00.
Rich Davis, consultant for the association spoke about potential users and the economic impact the high speed rail will have. There are several Fortune 500 companies within a short distance of a stop on the route. There are also 141 institutions of higher education within 25 miles of the rail heads along the route.
Davis said Indiana needs to be positioned and prepared to do whatever is necessary to make passenger rail service a reality. He continued Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio are well ahead of Indiana in this process and “now” is the time to make Indiana, especially northeast Indiana a leader in passenger rail development.
The high speed rail would use existing railroad right-of-way using the ole Pennsylvania Rail line which runs right through town.
Brent Martin asked about the daily number of train. He learned that the association projects 10 trains daily going each direction for a total of 20 trains. It is anticipated that half of those trains would stop in Plymouth daily.
The Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association projects 2 million passengers a year will use the rail system.