MoDOT seeks feedback on draft State Rail Plan

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

SIKESTON, Mo. -- The Missouri Department of Transportation will seek feedback on a new draft of its State Rail Plan at meetings in April.

In Southeast Missouri, an open-house meeting will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. April 25 at the Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce office, with a presentation at 4:45 p.m., according to a MoDOT news release. The plan seeks to provide a 20-year strategic framework for passenger and freight rail development in Missouri.

Draft recommendations call for completion of projects designed to improve the reliability of the state-supported Amtrak Missouri River Runner service, with a longer-term goal of adding more trains and schedule options to the route. The plan also proposes a staged approach to establishing dedicated high-speed passenger rail service between St. Louis and Kansas City and setting priorities for new corridor developments, such as service to Springfield and Hannibal, and feeder bus routes to Branson, Columbia and St. Joseph.

Proposals to maximize the economic benefits of freight rail in coordination with the Missouri Department of Economic Development are included. As funding becomes available, the plan suggests identifying ways to encourage intermodal access at Missouri ports by increasing capacity of existing tracks, industrial rail spurs and sidings and by supporting the development of additional rail access where new industrial development opportunities exist.

The recommendations also include many policy proposals to fund and promote the continued development of Missouri's rail system.

Along with the gathering at Poplar Bluff, meetings will be held at Springfield, Jefferson City and Kirkwood.

The draft plan is available at http://www.morail.org/, where the online version of the public meeting will also be available starting April 10. Public comments will be accepted until May 4.

Pertinent address:

1111 W. Pine St., Poplar Bluff, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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