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First Plans For Regional Rail System Announced

Last updated on Tuesday, June 17, 2008

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Planners unveiled their recommendation for the first phase of the regional rail transit system.

The northeast corridor will be the first commuter rail line built. Better known as the fair train route, it uses existing rail lines connecting Noblesville to Union Station in Downtown Indianapolis.

The cost of this phase is estimated at $100 to 160 million dollars. It's the first of seven rail transit lines planned for completion by the year 2035.

Unlike the fair train, the commuter line will use quieter light diesel multiple units with an engine on either end. It's similar to the commuter trains in Chicago.

For safety, planners want to use quad-style crossing gates at traffic intersections which prevent drivers from weaving around them. With only three or four cars, the commuter trains will pass by crossings quickly.

Planners propose using most of the initial funding for track improvements. Diesel power was chosen over electric because used equipment can be bought and later changed to state of the art technology.

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