Governor Culver signed a bill into law that would make it easier for passenger rail expansion to occur in the state. The bill would make it easier for the state to into regional agreements that would help passenger rail expand throughout the midwest.
The Governor signed the legislation at a former railroad station in Davenport, a community seeking to attract passenger rail service that would connect with Chicago.
“Passenger rail service is a key component to our state’s economic development efforts,” said Governor Culver. “By making it easier to connect between our state and key cities throughout the Midwest and the nation, we can attract new companies and bring new jobs to Iowa. This legislation, along with our other efforts this legislative session, puts us in the position to bring new lines to Iowa, and I look forward to continuing our work to bring passenger rail to Iowa.”
Senate File 151 includes several provisions related to freight and passenger rail service. The bill eliminates the Iowa Railway Finance Authority and transfers the responsibilities for the administration of the Rail Revolving Loan and Grant Fund and Passenger Rail Service Revolving Fund to the Department of Transportation. In addition, the bill removes the maximum threshold that applies to grants in the Rail Revolving Loan and Grant Program, and expands the Director of Transportation’s authorization to enter into agreements related to passenger rail service.