DES MOINES, Iowa — Amtrak released its multi-year expansion plan this week, and it's bringing to mind a question Iowa has faced before: How train-friendly is the state?
While there is an Iowa City-to-Chicago route, Des Moines is missing from the map. As is most of central Iowa, with Creston being the closest to Polk County.
People on social media aren't the only ones who want more train stops in Iowa.
The Iowa department of Transportation noted in a 2016 study its goal would be a path from Chicago to Council Bluffs/Omaha.
But there's a snag.
"We do not have the federal funding or the state match to implement that service," said Amanda Martin with the Iowa Department of Transportation. "Illinois is working on the Chicago-to-Moline segment of that, so that inner-city passage rail service is what's called State-Supported -Service. So the states, they do the planning to figure out if it's feasible and then they work with Amtrak directly to determine how that service will be administered."
But the DOT says they want to provide more access.
"We're a multimodal agency and we want to be able to provide modal options to our customers which are the citizens of Iowa and then customers that come through Iowa so other folks who travel through Iowa," Martin said. "We want to provide them with modal options."
Amtrak's plan is still in the preliminary stages.
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