Video: Geoff Paddock urges Legacy committee to support rail development

By on August 24, 2011

Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Assocation logo

News release from NIPRA:

Geoff Paddock urges Legacy committee to support rail development
NIPRA working on funding for job creation study and business case

Geoff Paddock, a founding board member of the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association (NIPRA), is today urging the Legacy Fort Wayne Committee to support funding for rail development in Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana. The committee is currently reviewing proposals to invest some of the Indiana and Michigan Electric Company settlement dollars. This money, estimated to be nearly $80 million, accumulated through the utility company’s lease and eventual purchase of the old Fort Wayne City Utilities infrastructure. A decision on how to invest some of funds will be recommended by the committee in the near future.

“A proposal drafted by NIPRA was rated first among 20 infrastructure and transportation projects submitted to the Legacy Committee. I urge the committee to make a commitment to fund the proposal,” said Paddock. “The roughly $2 million requested by NIPRA could be used as leverage for state and federal funding to make the necessary upgrades to bring Amtrak service back to Fort Wayne,” he said.

Upgrading the Norfolk/Southern line to Chicago, which runs parallel to U.S. Highway 30, could add service to Fort Wayne and many areas along the route. Working with Ohio, tracks could be upgraded to provide service to Cleveland or Columbus and points east. NIPRA is working with Ohio and with Warsaw and other cities along the N/S rail route, to form a coalition of support for the return of passenger rail service to this area. It is not known what the total cost of upgrades would be, but the $2 million requested would be a portion of what local and state governments could provide to match federal money.

“A study supporting the return of Amtrak, released by Orthoworx in Warsaw, estimates the orthopedics industry and other business sectors could expand and add up to 750 jobs and over $160 million to the economy of Kosciusko County over the next 20 years. Property values would also increase between $35 and $53 million, according to the study. NIPRA is working to secure funding for an economic impact study of our own to showcase the benefit train service would have for Fort Wayne. We are close to putting funding together to conduct that study,” Paddock said. He is also a board member of the Indiana High Speed Rail Association. It has been estimated the addition of passenger train service to the city could produce between 350 and 500 permanent jobs.

“The Legacy Committee has rated the NIPRA proposal #1 (among 20 submitted) to improve infrastructure and transportation in Fort Wayne. I hope the committee will take the next step and recommend funding for our proposal,” Paddock said.

In addition to supporting funding to upgrade tracks and infrastructure to lure Amtrak passenger service back to Fort Wayne (after a 21 year absence), Paddock also reported on the following rail related issues:

NIPRA is working with the City of Fort Wayne, the private sector, and other interested parties in seeking funding to commission an economic impact study, or a business case, for the restoration of passenger rail service to Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana.

Construction on the Gateway Project, providing congestion mitigation in Lake County, is about to begin, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation. Once this work is completed in 2012, the viability of connecting Fort Wayne to Chicago will be enhanced.

It is believed the State Rail Plan will be released for public review in September. Paddock appeared at a public planning session regarding the plan in April. He submitted several hundred petitions, from area citizens, in support of the return of Amtrak service. The State Rail Plan should address the need to accommodate additional freight and passenger rail service in the state.

NIPRA and the Indiana High Speed Rail Association continue to urge state leaders to support rail development, and they are working to build coalitions of support across Indiana. Last year, NIPRA asked Governor Mitch Daniels and the State Legislature to set aside 2% of the roughly $3.5 billion state transportation budget, for rail funding.

“NIPRA will work over the next several months to make a business case to Governor Daniels and the State Legislature. Investing in passenger rail can create jobs, increase property values, advance tourism, and save energy. Gasoline prices continue to rise and fall between $3.50 and $4.00/gallon. We need to encourage more mass transportation in Indiana, and passenger rail service is lacking in our area,” Paddock said. “We know the people of Fort Wayne want train service back, and we are working to convince state leaders that it makes economic sense to invest in passenger rail,” he said.

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxVgLiTdlYE

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMCpBX-qWL0

 

NIPRA website

 

 

About Stephen Parker

Stephen Parker is the blogmaster for AroundFortWayne.com. He believes that everyone should have access to information, interviews, and videos of events that are, "Straight from the source". When not blogging, he enjoys outdoor activities in his adopted home, Fort Wayne Indiana. He moved here in late 1989 and hasn't looked back.

One Comment

  1. john b. kalb

    August 24, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Jeff – Just where in the heck is your group planning to get millions of dollars out of the “federal matching fund”? DC is BROKE and will bve unable to provide anything for your uneconomically-sound dream of returning rail passenger service to anywhere in the USA! Sorry, you will have to wait for about 25 years of correction of our economy.

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Google Plus

Follow Me on Pinterest
  • A group of House Republicans criticized the Obama administration Wednesday over news that schools are cutting their employees' hours to avoid providing health insurance. Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/305073-gop-schools-cutting-workers-hours-to-avoid-obamacare-penalty

    Pinned: 13 Jun 2013
  • Mayor Bloomberg’s $12 million ad blitz to drum up Senate support for background checks on all gun purchases could backfire, Senate strategists said Monday.

    Pinned: 26 Mar 2013
  • Article about smart parking.

    Pinned: 25 Mar 2013
  • US Congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-IN 3rd): “This Budget Debate Goes Deeper than Spreadsheets and Focuses on the Longevity of the American Dream”

    Pinned: 20 Mar 2013
  • "What's a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch?" "How's it different from a warning?" "What actions should be taken when a watch is issued?" Get the answers to these frequently asked questions here!

    Pinned: 5 Mar 2013
  • “The President’s doomsday scenarios are of his own choosing,” Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., argued in response to Cutter’s email. “The sequester will cut 2.3 percent, or $85 billion, from the massive $3.55 trillion the federal government is projected to spend this year alone. To put that percentage in perspective, we borrow that much money every 28 days. If the President can’t cut that much, he’ll never cut anything.”

    Pinned: 5 Mar 2013
  • Photos and Video from the 2009 Get Green event.

    Pinned: 4 Mar 2013
  • Multimedia weather briefing concerning the winter storm to impact the area Thursday night into Friday. Created at 4:00pm Thursday 2/21/13.

    Pinned: 21 Feb 2013
  • Preliminary renderings from the City of Fort Wayne for the State Boulevard project.

    Pinned: 20 Feb 2013
  • Squad cars adding cameras, license plate readers

    Pinned: 20 Feb 2013

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • Ready for demolition. More photos - http://www.aroundfortwayne.com/?p=46944

    aroundfortwayne: "Ready for demolition.

More photos - http://www.aroundfortwayne.com/?p=46944"
    11
    0
  • Is it time for baseball yet?

    aroundfortwayne: "Is it time for baseball yet?"
    9
    1
  • Snow.

    aroundfortwayne: "Snow."
    7
    0
  • GE in the snow.

    aroundfortwayne: "GE in the snow."
    6
    0
  • Downtown during this afternoons snow.

    aroundfortwayne: "Downtown during this afternoons snow."
    8
    1
  • From Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at Parkview Field.

    aroundfortwayne: "From Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at Parkview Field."
    4
    0
  • TekVenture is having an open house next Saturday. Full details - http://www.aroundfortwayne.com/blog/?p=46548

    aroundfortwayne: "TekVenture is having an open house next Saturday. Full details - http://www.aroundfortwayne.com/blog/?p=46548"
    11
    1
  • Video from today's Foellinger Foundation announcent of $1,250,000 in grants to support Allen County's nonprofit infrastructure. http://www.aroundfortwayne.com/?p=46539

    aroundfortwayne: "Video from today's Foellinger Foundation announcent of $1,250,000 in grants to support Allen County's nonprofit infrastructure.

http://www.aroundfortwayne.com/?p=46539"
    3
    0
  • Yesterday, Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne Board President Jane Gerardo, announced they have received a $2m grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. The grant will be used to support grantmaking in Allen County and the City of Fort Wayne's riverfront development efforts. Photos and video - http://www.aroundfortwayne.com/blog/?p=46489

    aroundfortwayne: "Yesterday, Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne Board President Jane Gerardo, announced they have received a $2m grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. The grant will be used to support grantmaking in Allen County and the City of Fort Wayne's riverfront development efforts.

Photos and video - http://www.aroundfortwayne.com/blog/?p=46489"
    4
    0
  • Dreary day in the Fort.

    aroundfortwayne: "Dreary day in the Fort."
    3
    0