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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will conduct an alternatives analysis and solicit public input on a proposed higher-speed rail line between Chicago and Columbus, Ohio, the Northern Indiana Passenger Rail Association (NIPRA) announced early last week.Trains on the corridor also would stop in Fort Wayne, Ind. Although initial plans call for the trains to travel 75 mph, their speed eventually will increase to 110 mph, according to an NIPRA press release.The alternative analysis and public engagement process will include an examination of preliminary engineering, technical analyses, service planning and environmental impacts along the proposed route. The study is slated to start early next month and be completed by late fall 2017.The FRA will provide technical assistance throughout the process. Cities and business along the corridor are paying $350,000 for the analysis.After the study is completed, crews can begin engineering and design to upgrade existing tracks, pending funding.Service could begin as soon as 2020, NIPRA officials said.
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