FRA's Corridor ID Program and new Amtrak routes

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MisterUptempo

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As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the FRA was ordered to establish the Corridor Identification and Development Program (Corridor ID), with the purpose of providing assistance in the development of new, enhanced, and restored intercity rail corridors.

On May 13, 2022, the FRA published a Notice of Establishment in the Federal Register, which lays out the program's purpose and procedures. Included within the Notice, the FRA encourages individuals and entities to post comments as well as Expressions of Interest regarding new, enhanced, and restored routes.

The Notice of Establishment can be found here.
A list of posted comments and Expressions of Interest can be found here.

I started this thread in hopes of keeping a running tally of those Expressions of Interest. Many of the entries are from entities proposing corridors that many of us are already familiar with, but there might be a few surprises.

AS OF SEPTEMBER 22, 2022-

1) Southern Rail Commission

New Orleans, Louisiana to Mobile, Alabama
Baton Rouge, Louisiana to New Orleans, Louisiana
Meridian, Mississippi to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
Shreveport, Louisiana to Baton Rouge, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana to Orlando, Florida

2) City of Madison, WI AND Cities of Madison, Watertown, and Pewaukee, WI (two entries)

Extension of passenger rail service (Amtrak Hiawatha) from Milwaukee to Madison WI

3) Louisville Metro Government

Extension of passenger rail service from Indianapolis, IN and/or Cincinnati, OH to Nashville, TN with a connection in Louisville, KY

4) City of Peoria, IL

Establishment of passenger rail service between Peoria, IL and Chicago, IL
(As a side note - Peoria has decided to apply for both Corridor ID and CRISI funding, and has appropriated $100,000 towards the application process.)

5) Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority and PennDOT AND Congressman Matt Cartwright (two entries)

Establishment of rail service from Scranton, PA to New York, NY via Lackawanna Cut-off, as proposed in Amtrak's Connect US plan

6) Greater Oklahoma City Chamber

Expressing interest in the extension of passenger rail service (Amtrak Heartland Flyer) from Fort Worth, TX to Newton, KS

7) California High-Speed Rail Authority

Seeking federal support in completing the initial 171-mile operating segment between Merced and Bakersfield, CA

8) Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority

Expressing interest in restoring passenger rail service from Reading, PA to Philadelphia, PA, as per Amtrak Connects US

9) Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Providing enhancements to current service and expansion of service, along the segment between Boston, MA and Albany, NY, currently used as part of the Lake Shore Limited and the Berkshire Flyer

10) The Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities

Los Angeles, CA to Salt Lake City, UT through Las Vegas
Tucson, AZ to Reno, NV through Las Vegas, NV and Phoenix, AZ
Los Angeles, CA to Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas, NV to Salt Lake City, UT
Las Vegas, NV to Phoenix, AZ
Las Vegas, NV to Reno, NV
Las Vegas, NV to Los Angeles, CA

11) Front Range Passenger Rail District

Regarding the establishment of a Front Range corridor, between Pueblo and Fort Collins, CO, as described in Amtrak's Connects US Proposal

12) Wyoming Department of Transportation

Also advocating for the same Front Range corridor, but with a northern terminus at Cheyenne, WY

13) Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority

Improvements to the Amtrak Downeaster and the advancement of a passenger rail service pilot program to Rockland, ME as well as opportunities to support connecting services

14) High Desert Corridor Joint Powers Authority

Creation of passenger rail service from Palmdale to Victorville, CA

15) Washington State Department of Transportation; and Oregon Department of Transportation (one entry)

Proposed Cascadia Ultra High Speed Rail corridor between Vancouver, B.C., Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, and Eugene, OR

16) Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency

Cleveland-Elyria-Sandusky-Toledo-Chicago
Cleveland-Buffalo-Rochester-NYC
Cleveland-Pittsburgh-Philadelphia-NYC
Cleveland-Washington, D.C.
Cleveland-Toledo-Detroit

17) Georgia Department of Transportation

Seeks assistance in preparing a service development plan for Atlanta to Savannah, GA high-speed passenger rail service

18) I-75 Central Corridor Coalition

Establishment of new passenger rail service from Atlanta-Hartsfield Jackson International Airport to Macon and Robins AFB, GA

19) New York State Department of Transportation

Proposed enhancements on the Empire Corridor between New York City and Albany, NY, providing improvements to the following routes-
Empire Service - New York, NY to Albany, NY
Maple Leaf - New York, NY to Toronto, ON
Adirondack - New York, NY to Montreal, QUE
Ethan Allen Express - New York, NY to Burlington, VT

Also expresses support for MassDOT's attempt to improve Albany, NY to Boston, MA segment

20) Pima Association of Governments AND Arizona Transit Association (two entries)

Expression of interest and support of Amtrak's attempts to develop three daily roundtrips between Tucson, Phoenix, and Buckeye, AZ

21) North Central Texas Council of Governments

An expression of support for Texas Central's high-speed passenger rail corridor
(A side note - an individual left a comment stating Texas Central's FEIS should be thrown out, as it is based on inaccurate information)

22) Shoshone Paiute Tribes

Creation of passenger rail service from Boise ID to Elko NV (No idea if that means via Pocatello, ID and Ogden, UT or building a direct connection)

23) City of Boise, ID

Expression of interest regarding establishing passenger rail service between Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT

24) City of Jamestown, NY

Establishment of corridors that will provide passenger rail services from
Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY to Jamestown, NY
Binghamton, NY to Jamestown, NY
Erie, PA to Jamestown, NY.

Comment suggests the route between Erie, PA, Jamestown, NY, and Binghamton, NY would open up quicker and more direct routes from New York City to Chicago

25) Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART)

Directly from the document-

SMART submits our two publicly owned corridors for consideration:
▪ Cloverdale to Larkspur on our north-south mainline, with an emphasis on the rural northern portions of the corridor between Cloverdale and Windsor; and
▪ Novato to Suisun-Fairfield on our east-west Brazos branch line, connecting through to the national rail network.

26) City of Green Bay, WI

Extension of Amtrak’s Hiawatha connecting Green Bay, WI and cities throughout the Fox River Valley to Milwaukee, WI and Chicago, IL.

More will be posted when and if they are published

A few surprises as to what is not here yet-

Ohio's 3Cs + D
Charlotte to ATL
Nashville to ATL
Birmingham to ATL
Montgomery to ATL
NYC to Allentown, PA
 
Last edited:
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13) Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority

Improvements to the Amtrak Downeaster and the advancement of a passenger rail service pilot program to Rockland, ME as well as opportunities to support connecting services

The project to extend service to Rockland appears to be on hold. Too bad as this would be fairly low hanging fruit, as much of the infrastructure for passenger service over this route is still there from the Maine Eastern days.

NNEPRA project page
 
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19) New York State Department of Transportation

Proposed enhancements on the Empire Corridor between New York City and Albany, NY, providing improvements to the following routes-
Empire Service - New York, NY to Albany, NY
Maple Leaf - New York, NY to Toronto, ON
Adirondack - New York, NY to Montreal, QUE
Ethan Allen Express - New York, NY to Burlington, VT
What needs enhancing here?
 

jis

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What needs enhancing here?
High level platforms at the stations for one thing. Also there is potential for some 125mph with a little work, now that we have 125mph capable diesels, and soon to come ICTs.
 

west point

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As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the FRA was ordered to establish the Corridor Identification and Development Program (Corridor ID), with the purpose of providing assistance in the development of new, enhanced, and restored intercity rail corridors.


17) Georgia Department of Transportation

Seeks assistance in preparing a service development plan for Atlanta to Savannah, GA high-speed passenger rail service

18) I-75 Central Corridor Coalition

Establishment of new passenger rail service from Atlanta-Hartsfield Jackson International Airport to Macon and Robins AFB, GA
/A few surprises as to what is not here yet-

Ohio's 3Cs + D
Charlotte to ATL
Nashville to ATL
Birmingham to ATL
Montgomery to ATL
NYC to Allentown, PA
It appears that GA DOT dropped the ball. Comes from the auto industry having too much influence over the various districts.
 

TransitTyrant

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As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the FRA was ordered to establish the Corridor Identification and Development Program (Corridor ID), with the purpose of providing assistance in the development of new, enhanced, and restored intercity rail corridors.

On May 13, 2022, the FRA published a Notice of Establishment in the Federal Register, which lays out the program's purpose and procedures. Included within the Notice, the FRA encourages individuals and entities to post comments as well as Expressions of Interest regarding new, enhanced, and restored routes.

The Notice of Establishment can be found here.
A list of posted comments and Expressions of Interest can be found here.

I started this thread in hopes of keeping a running tally of those Expressions of Interest. Many of the entries are from entities proposing corridors that many of us are already familiar with, but there might be a few surprises.

AS OF SEPTEMBER 22, 2022-

1) Southern Rail Commission

New Orleans, Louisiana to Mobile, Alabama
Baton Rouge, Louisiana to New Orleans, Louisiana
Meridian, Mississippi to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
Shreveport, Louisiana to Baton Rouge, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana to Orlando, Florida

2) City of Madison, WI AND Cities of Madison, Watertown, and Pewaukee, WI (two entries)

Extension of passenger rail service (Amtrak Hiawatha) from Milwaukee to Madison WI

3) Louisville Metro Government

Extension of passenger rail service from Indianapolis, IN and/or Cincinnati, OH to Nashville, TN with a connection in Louisville, KY

4) City of Peoria, IL

Establishment of passenger rail service between Peoria, IL and Chicago, IL
(As a side note - Peoria has decided to apply for both Corridor ID and CRISI funding, and has appropriated $100,000 towards the application process.)

5) Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority and PennDOT AND Congressman Matt Cartwright (two entries)

Establishment of rail service from Scranton, PA to New York, NY via Lackawanna Cut-off, as proposed in Amtrak's Connect US plan

6) Greater Oklahoma City Chamber

Expressing interest in the extension of passenger rail service (Amtrak Heartland Flyer) from Fort Worth, TX to Newton, KS

7) California High-Speed Rail Authority

Seeking federal support in completing the initial 171-mile operating segment between Merced and Bakersfield, CA

8) Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority

Expressing interest in restoring passenger rail service from Reading, PA to Philadelphia, PA, as per Amtrak Connects US

9) Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Providing enhancements to current service and expansion of service, along the segment between Boston, MA and Albany, NY, currently used as part of the Lake Shore Limited and the Berkshire Flyer

10) The Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities

Los Angeles, CA to Salt Lake City, UT through Las Vegas
Tucson, AZ to Reno, NV through Las Vegas, NV and Phoenix, AZ
Los Angeles, CA to Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas, NV to Salt Lake City, UT
Las Vegas, NV to Phoenix, AZ
Las Vegas, NV to Reno, NV
Las Vegas, NV to Los Angeles, CA

11) Front Range Passenger Rail District

Regarding the establishment of a Front Range corridor, between Pueblo and Fort Collins, CO, as described in Amtrak's Connects US Proposal

12) Wyoming Department of Transportation

Also advocating for the same Front Range corridor, but with a northern terminus at Cheyenne, WY

13) Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority

Improvements to the Amtrak Downeaster and the advancement of a passenger rail service pilot program to Rockland, ME as well as opportunities to support connecting services

14) High Desert Corridor Joint Powers Authority

Creation of passenger rail service from Palmdale to Victorville, CA

15) Washington State Department of Transportation; and Oregon Department of Transportation (one entry)

Proposed Cascadia Ultra High Speed Rail corridor between Vancouver, B.C., Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, and Eugene, OR

16) Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency

Cleveland-Elyria-Sandusky-Toledo-Chicago
Cleveland-Buffalo-Rochester-NYC
Cleveland-Pittsburgh-Philadelphia-NYC
Cleveland-Washington, D.C.
Cleveland-Toledo-Detroit

17) Georgia Department of Transportation

Seeks assistance in preparing a service development plan for Atlanta to Savannah, GA high-speed passenger rail service

18) I-75 Central Corridor Coalition

Establishment of new passenger rail service from Atlanta-Hartsfield Jackson International Airport to Macon and Robins AFB, GA

19) New York State Department of Transportation

Proposed enhancements on the Empire Corridor between New York City and Albany, NY, providing improvements to the following routes-
Empire Service - New York, NY to Albany, NY
Maple Leaf - New York, NY to Toronto, ON
Adirondack - New York, NY to Montreal, QUE
Ethan Allen Express - New York, NY to Burlington, VT

Also expresses support for MassDOT's attempt to improve Albany, NY to Boston, MA segment

20) Pima Association of Governments AND Arizona Transit Association (two entries)

Expression of interest and support of Amtrak's attempts to develop three daily roundtrips between Tucson, Phoenix, and Buckeye, AZ

21) North Central Texas Council of Governments

An expression of support for Texas Central's high-speed passenger rail corridor
(A side note - an individual left a comment stating Texas Central's FEIS should be thrown out, as it is based on inaccurate information)

22) Shoshone Paiute Tribes

Creation of passenger rail service from Boise ID to Elko NV (No idea if that means via Pocatello, ID and Ogden, UT or building a direct connection)

23) City of Boise, ID

Expression of interest regarding establishing passenger rail service between Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT

24) City of Jamestown, NY

Establishment of corridors that will provide passenger rail services from
Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY to Jamestown, NY
Binghamton, NY to Jamestown, NY
Erie, PA to Jamestown, NY.

Comment suggests the route between Erie, PA, Jamestown, NY, and Binghamton, NY would open up quicker and more direct routes from New York City to Chicago

25) Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART)

Directly from the document-

SMART submits our two publicly owned corridors for consideration:
▪ Cloverdale to Larkspur on our north-south mainline, with an emphasis on the rural northern portions of the corridor between Cloverdale and Windsor; and
▪ Novato to Suisun-Fairfield on our east-west Brazos branch line, connecting through to the national rail network.

26) City of Green Bay, WI

Extension of Amtrak’s Hiawatha connecting Green Bay, WI and cities throughout the Fox River Valley to Milwaukee, WI and Chicago, IL.

More will be posted when and if they are published

A few surprises as to what is not here yet-

Ohio's 3Cs + D
Charlotte to ATL
Nashville to ATL
Birmingham to ATL
Montgomery to ATL
NYC to Allentown, PA
DeWine back in May direct the Ohio Rail Commission to begin working with Amtrak so perhaps they’re still working out the details. 3C+D is the most obvious corridor in the country that doesn’t have train service.
 

TransitTyrant

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High level platforms at the stations for one thing. Also there is potential for some 125mph with a little work, now that we have 125mph capable diesels, and soon to come ICTs.
So improvements between Albany and Buffalo are on hold if not dead?
 

jis

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So improvements between Albany and Buffalo are on hold if not dead?
The long suffering EIS is apparently finally going to get a ROD this year. It has been a long drawn out 8 year saga, spanning bipartisan neglect/incompetence at the FRA and NYSDOT and the corresponding legislators.
 

flitcraft

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15) Washington State Department of Transportation; and Oregon Department of Transportation (one entry)

Proposed Cascadia Ultra High Speed Rail corridor between Vancouver, B.C., Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, and Eugene, OR
A shame that enhanced service between Spokane and Seattle isn't there. This is not just a convenience but, during the winter, a practical necessity given how often storms close the passes between Eastern and Western Washington.
 

JWM

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A shame that enhanced service between Spokane and Seattle isn't there. This is not just a convenience but, during the winter, a practical necessity given how often storms close the passes between Eastern and Western Washington.
Having family in suburban Kirkland and a grandson who went to and graduated from Gonzaga, I second the winter pass closure issue.
 

TransitTyrant

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I’m disappointed IDOT didn’t add the Lincoln Service corridor. Most of first phase of the “High Speed Rail” project is done, minus the 110 speed which is supposedly close. Now is the time to get money to begin adding more double track to the corridor. For the money invested 4 trains a day isn’t enough service.
 

MisterUptempo

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DeWine back in May direct the Ohio Rail Commission to begin working with Amtrak so perhaps they’re still working out the details. 3C+D is the most obvious corridor in the country that doesn’t have train service.
Right. I'm aware. This is merely for expressions of interest at the moment. The FRA isn't looking for any kind of plan, just for individuals and entities to state that a particular corridor or group of corridors are worthy of consideration, no obligation.

But the fact that the 3Cs has been touted to the extent that it has, and nary a peep so far from the State of Ohio, or an OH state or federal legislator, or a mayor, or even any rail advocacy group in OH just has me a little befuddled, that's all.
 

TransitTyrant

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Right. I'm aware. This is merely for expressions of interest at the moment. The FRA isn't looking for any kind of plan, just for individuals and entities to state that a particular corridor or group of corridors are worthy of consideration, no obligation.

But the fact that the 3Cs has been touted to the extent that it has, and nary a peep so far from the State of Ohio, or an OH state or federal legislator, or a mayor, or even any rail advocacy group in OH just has me a little befuddled, that's all.
Yeah every mayor along the route is in favor of it. Several chambers of commerce along with regional planning groups like MOPRC also support the project. No idea why they haven’t talked to the FRA but they have been vocal.
 
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A few surprises as to what is not here yet-

Ohio's 3Cs + D
Charlotte to ATL
Nashville to ATL
Birmingham to ATL
Montgomery to ATL
NYC to Allentown, PA

The previously proposed new-service route ─ Nashville-Chattanooga-ATL, part of an extended service route to Macon and Savannah ─ had been relatively foremost in the local media within Tennessee. Legislation introduced in early 2020 had passed the State Senate to direct the Tenn. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations to study the cost and feasibility of the new corridor, the issue had all but turned to smoke, as it became unaddressed in the House when its session was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was revived for discussion last February (2022), for the Tennessee portion of the route.

It's not really of any surprise, therefore, that the pandemic quenched the momentum and public-interest hype that had preceded the onset of that period. Also, the
"FRA anticipates publishing a notice requesting proposals to participate in the Corridor ID Program in the last quarter of the 2022 calendar year". That doesn't necessarily imply that those jurisdictions not yet having commented haven't been actively engaging in ongoing procedural activities. I tend to think that two-way dialog behind the scenes between the FRA and the Tenn. State Legislature (as well as other jurisdictions) likely remain viable for those new-service routes proposed and specified on the Amtrak Connect US map but not yet addressed by comments formally expressing interests in the Corridor ID. That specifically would include any route linking Nashville ─ to the north and to the south.
 

Anderson

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I'm surprised that nothing attached to the Washington-Charlotte corridor is on there. My guess is that it's coming, but that is a very surprising omission to me.
 

TransitTyrant

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So all the funds program for Inter-City rail is awaiting studies to be completed. Nothing been spent or allocated yet?

Someday in 10 years will see something, somewhere.
The law was passed a year ago, the FRA’s corridor ID program is relatively young too. Most of Amtraks proposals for the Connect Map are pretty conservative; 3-4 trains a day at 79mph max in most cases. We could possibly see these routes running in 3-5 years based on when funding is appropriated.
 

MisterUptempo

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I’m disappointed IDOT didn’t add the Lincoln Service corridor. Most of first phase of the “High Speed Rail” project is done, minus the 110 speed which is supposedly close. Now is the time to get money to begin adding more double track to the corridor. For the money invested 4 trains a day isn’t enough service.
If I understand the mission and scope of the Corridor ID program correctly, the FRA is providing financial and technical assistance for new, enhanced, and restored routes to-

1) Create a Service Development Plan
and
2) Complete Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Impact Statements

So, basically,, to get a project to "shovel-ready" status and into the funding pipeline. No cash for building an inch of track or a new station or a single railcar.

I was under the impression that under the Rebuild Illinois program, money was to be allocated towards restarting the Tier II EIS, which was for Phase 2 of Chicago-St. Louis HSR, so it might not qualify under Corridor ID rules.

In IDOT's allocation breakdown of their Multi-Year Multi Modal Program, on page 118, it shows $243,000,000 allocated to CHI-STL HSR for Fiscal Years 2022-2026. For its Multi-Year Multi Modal Program for Fiscal Years 2023-2028 (issued August, 2022), on page 12, there is an allocation for the project of $264,000,000.

That sounds like a lot, until you read the estimated cost of full build-out, found in IDOT's Illinois Rail Needs Assessment Report, issued in July 2022, on page 308, which pegs the cost at $7,000,000,000 (yes, that's billions!) The report lists the possible revenue streams available to finance this as CRISI, RREG, TIFIA, RAISE, and Intercity Passenger Rail Grant. The fact that estimated cost for the project has defined scope, and is not just a WAG, leads me to believe that the bulk of the planning/EIS is complete already.
 

MisterUptempo

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The law was passed a year ago, the FRA’s corridor ID program is relatively young too. Most of Amtraks proposals for the Connect Map are pretty conservative; 3-4 trains a day at 79mph max in most cases. We could possibly see these routes running in 3-5 years based on when funding is appropriated.
The law as passed gave the FRA until May, 2022 to establish and introduce the Corridor ID program, which it did. FRA then needs to open up the application process. I am not aware if an application window has been announced or not. It then has a year from the date of introduction, so May, 2023, to issue its first list of route applicants awarded a grant. Every year after that, a new list of route grants needs to be issued every February.
 

TransitTyrant

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If I understand the mission and scope of the Corridor ID program correctly, the FRA is providing financial and technical assistance for new, enhanced, and restored routes to-

1) Create a Service Development Plan
and
2) Complete Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Impact Statements

So, basically,, to get a project to "shovel-ready" status and into the funding pipeline. No cash for building an inch of track or a new station or a single railcar.

I was under the impression that under the Rebuild Illinois program, money was to be allocated towards restarting the Tier II EIS, which was for Phase 2 of Chicago-St. Louis HSR, so it might not qualify under Corridor ID rules.

In IDOT's allocation breakdown of their Multi-Year Multi Modal Program, on page 118, it shows $243,000,000 allocated to CHI-STL HSR for Fiscal Years 2022-2026. For its Multi-Year Multi Modal Program for Fiscal Years 2023-2028 (issued August, 2022), on page 12, there is an allocation for the project of $264,000,000.

That sounds like a lot, until you read the estimated cost of full build-out, found in IDOT's Illinois Rail Needs Assessment Report, issued in July 2022, on page 308, which pegs the cost at $7,000,000,000 (yes, that's billions!) The report lists the possible revenue streams available to finance this as CRISI, RREG, TIFIA, RAISE, and Intercity Passenger Rail Grant. The fact that estimated cost for the project has defined scope, and is not just a WAG, leads me to believe that the bulk of the planning/EIS is complete already.
Good points all around, perhaps it is too far along to qualify

In regards to the tier II EIS I don’t remember hearing about restarting it but if I remember the unfinished part was to deal with the Chicago to Joliet upgrades. The preferred route was to use the Rock Island with a connection at 40th st. With the potential of the Chicago Access that connection moves further north but still allows trains on the Rock.

Only thing I’ll say about the Illinois Rail assessment was the cost for the Chicago-St Louis corridor still had the trains using the heritage corridor. 4 expensive flyovers would’ve been required as part of the fixes. Doesn’t seem like there was great coordination when coming up with that 7 billion number. Adding double and triple track through the corridor was expected to cost ~2 billion in 2012 dollars.
 

TransitTyrant

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The law as passed gave the FRA until May, 2022 to establish and introduce the Corridor ID program, which it did. FRA then needs to open up the application process. I am not aware if an application window has been announced or not. It then has a year from the date of introduction, so May, 2023, to issue its first list of route applicants awarded a grant. Every year after that, a new list of route grants needs to be issued every February.
FRA has a Webinar on Tuesday 9/27 all about it. It’s free to register. Webinar Registration - Zoom
 

GDRRiley

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The law was passed a year ago, the FRA’s corridor ID program is relatively young too. Most of Amtraks proposals for the Connect Map are pretty conservative; 3-4 trains a day at 79mph max in most cases. We could possibly see these routes running in 3-5 years based on when funding is appropriated.
because breaking 80mph in most cases isn't an option, most mainline track is class 4 60mph freight 80mph pax, theres a bit of class 5 where freight wants to do 70mph then you can get pax to 90mph with PTC.

Now I am frustrated the connect US plan is so limited in frequency, 5-6 should be the base unless theres a LD train along the route, then that can use one of the slots.
 
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