Home » Greenberg announces first steps to bring Amtrak service back to Louisville

Greenberg announces first steps to bring Amtrak service back to Louisville

$500,000 grant will study new link to Indianapolis
Matoon, Illinois, USA. Amtrak’s Saluki passing through rural central Illinois on its daily trip from Carbondale, Illinois to Chicago. Amtrak, the national passenger train carrier of the United States operates several long intercity routes out of Chicago including local or regional travel within Illinois and the Midwest.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Metro Louisville, in partnership with the Kentucky Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA) has received $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation to explore the viability of an Amtrak passenger rail line between Louisville and Indianapolis, Mayor Craig Greenberg announced. This 115-mile-long corridor would provide premium public transportation and prioritize safety, accessibility, and equity with the resurgence of passenger rail.

Over the coming months, Metro Government and KIPDA will use the grant funding to begin the first step of the planning process and evaluate key elements for this potential rail line. Once complete, this service development plan would need to be approved by the Federal Railroad Administration to move to the next stage.

“We are so excited to begin the process to potentially bring Amtrak back to Louisville, which would provide travelers new and efficient ways to get to and from Indianapolis, Chicago, and beyond,” Mayor Greenberg said. “We’ve heard from so many Louisvillians eager to take advantage of this service and we can’t wait to get to work on developing a plan to make it a reality.”

The $500,000 grant comes from the Federal Railroad Administration’s Corridor ID Program, which seeks to support projects that have a positive impact on the country consistent with USDOT goals. Metro Government will work with several partners including KIPDA, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the Indiana Department of Transportation, the City of Indianapolis, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization to explore a service development plan for the 115-mile corridor between Louisville and Indianapolis.

In March, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) also submitted a grant application through the same program for the corridor between Indianapolis to Chicago. Combined, these two corridors would make for a 313-mile route that would reconnect Louisville to Chicago and be the first intercity passenger rail operations in the Louisville region in decades.

Additional partners who supported the grant request include Gov. Andy Beshear, Congressman Morgan McGarvey, Greater Louisville Inc., the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, TARC, and the cities of Clarksville, Ind., and Beechgrove, Ind.

“I’m so pleased our community is receiving $500,000 to develop Amtrak rail service between Louisville and Indianapolis,” said Rep. McGarvey. “This is critical for our city’s economic development and will revitalize transportation between our two cities. I’m looking forward to working with federal, state, and local partners to see this project through.”

“Today’s announcement is an exciting step towards providing long desired passenger rail service,” added KIPDA Executive Director Jarrett Haley. “The proposed route would be transformational for economic development and travel opportunities for the region.”

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