DES MOINES -
Davis Brown attorney Mike Kulik, Chair of the Partnership's Transit 2030 Taskforce, will be speaking at this event on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. at the 4th Street Depot in downtown Des Moines in support of extending passenger rail from Chicago to Des Moines and eventually to Omaha.
"Restoring passenger rail service to some of Iowa's largest cities has been one of my key priorities as governor," said Governor Culver. "I look forward to leading this special train into Des Moines on Saturday, and highlighting the economic benefits of passenger rail to our state. I invite Iowans to come to downtown Des Moines Saturday and celebrate National Train Day in Iowa."
National Train Day is designed to highlight the need for expanded passenger rail service across the country. Iowa currently is served by two passenger trains - the California Zephyr and Southwest Chief - both of which serve southern Iowa. Efforts have been taken in recent years to bring passenger rail service back to other portions of the state, with current proposals to bring service to Dubuque, the Quad Cities and Iowa City and longer term plans to bring service to other communities such as Des Moines and West Des Moines.
To help spur efforts, Governor Culver's signature legislative accomplishment - the I-JOBS Initiative -- includes $10 million for multi-modal transportation projects in Iowa, including $3 million for expanded passenger rail service in the state. In addition, the Iowa Department of Transportation will be competing for federal passenger rail funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. All of these steps position Iowa to work with Illinois and Amtrak to bring new passenger rail lines to the state that connect more Iowa communities with Chicago.