LOUISVILLE, KY (December 8, 2023) – The Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA), the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for the region, is thrilled to announce its successful bid in securing a planning grant from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
This grant will assess the viability of re-establishing passenger rail service connecting Louisville to Indianapolis. In March, with the partnership of Louisville Metro and the Town of Clarksville, KIPDA applied for a $500,000 planning grant from the Federal Railroad Administration through the Corridor Identification and Development Program. Demonstrating added partnership, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) submitted a grant application through the same program for the corridor between Indianapolis to Chicago. Combined, these two corridors would make for a 313-mile route that would reconnect Louisville to Chicago and be the first intercity passenger rail operations in the Louisville region in decades.
Through Step 1 of this planning process, the viability of several aspects of passenger rail service will be evaluated. These include an assessment of the locations of potential stations along the corridor, the level of frequency and speed that can be envisioned, ridership estimates, the cost of improvements to the railroad infrastructure including passenger trainsets, signal improvements, passing sidings, double track and other improvements needed to make passenger rail service along this corridor “car competitive”.
“Today’s announcement is an exciting step towards providing long desired passenger rail service. The proposed route would be transformational for economic development and travel opportunities for the region,” stated KIPDA’s Executive Director, Jarrett Haley.
KIPDA’s Transportation Director Andy Rush added, “While this planning grant is only the first step in the process to bring passenger rail back to this region, we could not be more excited about what passenger rail service can add to complement a modern, sustainable, 21st century transportation system in this region and beyond.”
The Town of Clarksville has been working with KIPDA and Metro Louisville for years, ever since town officials heard rumblings of a possible expansion by Amtrak.
“Amtrak first announced this planned expansion about two years ago, and seeing how the routes went through Clarksville, we immediately knew how monumental this would be for the town and especially for our new downtown area,” said Neal Turpin, Clarksville’s Planning Director. “It will help Clarksville and southern Indiana residents connect to the rest of the country by rail, and sets the area up for sustained, beneficial, long-term growth.”
To see the full application submitted by KIPDA, click here.