opinions to help shape the future of Missouri’s rail system was the focus of community
leader workshops and public meetings recently conducted by oMultimodal Railroad staff in each of
MoDOT’s seven districts.
following comments from participants give just a few examples of what staff
learned about how important freight and passenger rail service are to
rail benefits Missouri with jobs, fuel efficient transportation of all goods
hauled and [it] connects all of Missouri with the rest of the nation.
rail] helps get very heavy or awkward freight off the roads, which means less
damage to roads and bridges and less danger to auto traffic. It expands
shipping options and encourages industry.
passenger service provides an economical transportation alternative to those
with and without access to cars, helps with tourism, helps to save the environment
by reducing pollution, and promotes better land use and development.
comments and others captured at meetings in October and November have been compiled
and will be used to develop a new State Rail Plan. The plan will provide the strategic
framework for improving the movement of goods and people in Missouri for the
next 20 years.
Railroad officials have also met with Amtrak and key freight railroad companies
that operate in Missouri to gather additional information for the plan. Statistics
such as passenger ridership, miles of track, commodities hauled, tonnage and
value of shipments, system size and other operational information will provide an
important overview of today’s system. MoDOT will use this data to identify current
rail assets, rail system conditions and capacity and future project needs in
had great discussions across the state,” said MoDOT’s Rail Administrator Eric
Curtit. “Overall, Missourians expressed that freight and passenger rail service
is important to Missouri’s economic well being and quality of life.”
expressed interest in expanding passenger rail service to areas like Hannibal,
St. Joseph, Springfield and Branson. Business leaders expressed interest in
gaining better access to freight rail service as an economical shipping option
that would, in turn, enable them to create more jobs and generate more revenue.
the winter months, the State Rail Plan project team will prepare a draft. It
will assess and evaluate the current system, identify and prioritize future
programs and projects and guide long-term policies for the future development
of Missouri’s rail system. The team will return to communities across Missouri
in the spring so the public can review and comment on the plan before it is
completed and submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration in May 2012.Bottom of Form