Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The Tier 1 EIS presents the proposed project's purpose and need, identifies reasonable alternatives, describes the affected environment, and analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the alternatives considered, including the no-build alternative.
The Chicago to Omaha regional intercity passenger rail corridor extends from Chicago Union Station, in downtown Chicago, Illinois on the east to a terminal in Omaha, Nebraska on the west. In Illinois, the Study area extends west from Chicago Union Station (the hub for the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative) for approximately 200 miles to the Mississippi River near Moline, Illinois, and continues west for approximately 300 miles across the entire state of Iowa to the Missouri River, a distance of approximately 500 miles. The Study area terminates in Omaha, which is located at the Missouri River, the eastern border of the state of Nebraska.
The Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System would provide a competitive passenger rail transportation option between Chicago and Omaha to help meet current and future demand for travel in the Study area. The need stems from travel demand and increasing congestion, resulting from population growth and changing demographics along the corridor from Chicago, Illinois to Omaha, Nebraska, as well as the lack of competitive and attractive travel alternatives to highway and air transportation. The proposed improvements of the preferred alternative meet the purpose and need criteria by: decreasing travel times; increasing frequency of service; improving service reliability; providing safe and efficient service; providing amenities to improve passenger ride quality and comfort; and promoting environmental benefits (reduced air pollutant emissions, improved land use options, and fewer adverse impacts to the surrounding habitat and water resources).
The Tier 1 EIS is available for review online at FRA's Web site