October 25, 2014

Small RR promotes freight/pass. sharing

Iowa Interstate Railroad and Amtrak are intending jointly to launch conventional-speed (79 mph) passenger service between Chicago and Iowa City over a previously abandoned rail line, reports progressiverailroading.com.

The proposed service, reported progressiverailroading.com, has been approved by the Federal Railroad Administration, but is not expected to begin prior to 2013.

Progressiverailroading.com quoted Iowa Interstate CEO Dennis Miller that the railroad has “spent many hours working with local community leaders, the states of Iowa and Illinois, and Amtrak to make sure that if this service was approved, we could handle it in conjunction with our existing and growing freight business.”

Perhaps contradicting many Class I freight CEOs — who are cool about expanding passenger service over freight railroad track — Iowa Interstate Chairman Henry Posner III, a former Conrail executive, was quoted by progressiverailroading.com that, “The lesson here is that a healthy freight network is the single most important building block for passenger service.”