All Aboard! Connecting Bourbon City to the Windy City
First steps to resurrect Amtrak service planned via feasibility study
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Dec. 26, 2023) – Metro Louisville has received half a million dollars from the U.S. Department of Transportation to explore the viability of a passenger rail line between Louisville and Indianapolis. This 115-mile-long corridor would provide premium public transportation with the resurgence of passenger rail.
Over the coming months, Louisville’s Metro Government and the Kentucky Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA) will use the grant funding to begin the first step of the planning process and evaluate key elements for this potential rail line. Once complete, this service development plan would need to be approved by the Federal Railroad Administration to move to the next stage.
In March, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) also submitted a grant application through the same program for the corridor between Indianapolis to Chicago. Combined, these two corridors would make for a 313-mile route that would reconnect Louisville to Chicago and be the first intercity passenger rail operations in the Louisville region in decades.
“We are so excited to begin the process to potentially bring Amtrak back to Louisville, which would provide travelers new and efficient ways to get to and from Indianapolis, Chicago, and beyond,” said Mayor Greenberg. “We’ve heard from so many Louisvillians eager to take advantage of this service and we can’t wait to get to work on developing a plan to make it a reality.”
The $500,000 grant comes from the Federal Railroad Administration’s Corridor ID Program, which seeks to support projects that have a positive impact on the country consistent with USDOT goals. Metro Government will work with several partners including KIPDA, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the Indiana Department of Transportation, the City of Indianapolis, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization to explore a service development plan for the 115-mile corridor between Louisville and Indianapolis.
“I’m so pleased our community is receiving $500,000 to develop Amtrak rail service between Louisville and Indianapolis,” said Rep. McGarvey. “This is critical for our city’s economic development and will revitalize transportation between our two cities.”
“Today’s announcement is an exciting step towards providing long desired passenger rail service,” added KIPDA Executive Director Jarrett Haley. “The proposed route would be transformational for economic development and travel opportunities for the region.”
While planning a trip to Louisville, guests can download a copy of Louisville Tourism’s annual Visitor Guide to help plan a tour around Louisville to see the city's top attractions and bourbon distilleries. Visitors also can get additional city attraction, lodging and dining assistance at gotolouisville.com.