Wednesday, December 25, 2013

ILL-inois: State to move ahead with train boondoggle that Iowa passes on

I can assure you that there is no clamoring in Chicago for a passenger rail line to Iowa City. Or to Moline, Illinois. But functionally bankrupt Illinois is moving ahead with its portion--but Iowa is wisely derailing its part of the line.

Illinois has a liberal Democrat, Pat Quinn, as its governor. Libs love trains because they only go where there are railroad tracks--greatly limiting citizens' freedom of movement. Large public works projects are popular with Democrats because it allows them to reward union bosses, who are generous with campaign contributions.

Iowa has a Republican governor.

More from AP:
The federal government allocated $210 million in 2010 for the project but required a local match. Illinois is moving forward with its portion of the project, but not Iowa. That means unless Iowa has a change of heart, the line will stop in Moline, across the Mississippi River from Davenport.

Iowa would have been obligated to contribute $21.8 million in initial support, but that's grown to $72 million because of inflation, new infrastructure regulations and more improvements to accommodate freight growth, according to Iowa City assistant to the city manager Geoff Fruin. The federal government also has redirected $18 million that had been intended for Iowa to instead go toward the Illinois project.
Note now the pricetag for the line has skyrocketed in just three years. It will continue to do so. How do I know? Federally subsidized rail projects always cost much more than promised. Hopefully in 2015 there will be a Republican governor in Illinois who will stop this madness.

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