Iowa DOT News Release

Passenger rail study announced from Chicago, through Iowa, to Omaha #CHItoOMA

Posted on: February 06, 2012

AMES, Iowa – Feb. 6, 2012 – The Federal Railroad Administration, in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), is kicking off the Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study. The Iowa DOT will host an online, self-directed, open house meeting beginning Feb. 13, 2012, available at

The online open house will be the first opportunity for the public to participate in the study, which is intended to:

  • Evaluate potential route alternatives.
  • Evaluate levels of service and ridership.
  • Analyze environmental impacts.
  • Determine a preferred Chicago to Omaha passenger rail route alternative. 

“Potential improvements to the passenger rail system from Chicago, through Iowa, to Omaha will help complete the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative's vision for developing an improved and expanded passenger rail system in the Midwest,” said Tamara Nicholson, Iowa DOT director of the Office of Rail Transportation. “The study will be a major step in assessing the viability of a high-speed, regional passenger rail system for Iowa and the Midwest.” 

Comments can be submitted at the online open house. Meeting materials and a comment form can also be downloaded at and mailed to: Tamara Nicholson, director, Office of Rail Transportation, Iowa Department of Transportation, 800 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa 50010. For those without Internet access, meeting materials and a comment form may be requested by calling 800-488-7119.

For more information, please visit the study’s website or call the toll-free comment line at 800-488-7119. 

Federal and state laws prohibit employment and/or public accommodation discrimination on the basis of age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status. If you believe you have been discriminated against, please contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission at 800-457-4416 or Iowa Department of Transportation’s affirmative action officer. If you need accommodations because of a disability to access the Iowa Department of Transportation’s services, contact the agency’s affirmative action officer at 800-262-0003. 



Contact: Amanda Martin, Iowa DOT’s Office of Rail Transportation, at 515-239-1653 or


Iowa highway in the evening