Acting on behalf of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, Indiana has requested $2.8 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to plan, build and launch high-speed rail service from Chicago to Cleveland.

A copy of the application is available on the Indiana Dept. of Transportation (INDOT) Web site at

“With the support of our counterparts in Chicago and Ohio, INDOT submitted one application that Indiana believes stands the greatest chance of being approved by the Federal Rail Administration,” said INDOT Commissioner Michael W. Reed.

If the application is approved, initial environmental and feasibility studies would fully consider two routes through Indiana: either a northern route with proposed stops in South Bend, Elkhart and Waterloo or a southern route with proposed stops in Plymouth, Warsaw and Fort Wayne. Both routes would also include a proposed stop near Gary.

ARRA provides an $8-billion initial investment in high-speed intercity passenger rail, followed by an additional $1 billion a year for five years. In August, INDOT requested $71.4 million in final design and construction funds to improve the congested Norfolk Southern rail line that connects Chicago to Detroit through northwest Indiana.

The Federal Rail Administration plans to announce grant awards this winter.

Indiana is one of nine states in the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, an effort to develop an improved passenger rail system in the Midwest. Its other participating states are Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska and Wisconsin.