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INDOT Holds Public Rail Plan Meetings

The Indiana Department of Transportation is reaching out to the public as it develops a new rail plan, a key part of obtaining federal dollars in the future.

Train Tracks and Station

Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

INDOT officials say this is the first time the public will be heavily involved in the development of a statewide rail plan.

The new rail plan, which INDOT officials says they hope to finish by October, will help put the state in compliance with federal law and make it possible to receive federal rail transportation dollars.  INDOT spokesperson Will Wingfield says part of drafting the plan will include public input.  Gathering that input includes public meetings and a survey:

“There’s a series of questions about, ‘What do you see as the future of both freight and passenger rail in Indiana,’ so that we can integrate that as we develop the plan,” said Wingfield.

Wingfield says this is the first time public input has played such an important role in developing a rail plan.  State Rail Office manager Mike Riley, who gave a presentation at the meeting, repeatedly emphasized the importance of filling out the survey:

“It’s like voting – if you want your voice heard,” said Wingfield. “Complete the survey.”

Riley says INDOT is particularly looking for input on rail issues and opportunities, safety concerns and passenger rail priorities.  The survey is on the INDOT website through early July.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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