The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced Friday that the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will receive up to $500,000 to support the assessment and potential development of the Indianapolis – Chicago passenger rail corridor through the Corridor Identification and Development (Corridor ID) Program.

“This is a first step toward expanding passenger rail in Indiana,” said INDOT Commissioner Mike Smith. “Receiving this funding allows us to gather essential information to make more informed decisions going forward.”

INDOT put forth its application in the spring. The federal funds will go toward preliminary work in preparation for a Service Development Plan. The plan would be comprehensive in nature and include information about necessary track improvements and facilities, operating costs, ridership statistics and state support that would be necessary to begin sustainable service. There are no state matching funds required for this stage of the program.

Other corridors selected for Corridor ID funding in Indiana include:

  • Chicago – Fort Wayne – Columbus – Pittsburgh (Midwest Connect Corridor), applied for by the City of Fort Wayne
  • Louisville – Indianapolis, applied for by the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA)
  • Daily service on the Cardinal long distance route, applied for by Amtrak

The Corridor ID Program is a comprehensive intercity passenger rail planning and development program that will help guide intercity passenger rail development throughout the country and create a pipeline of intercity passenger rail projects ready for implementation.