Funding an issue for the Amtrak project in Fort Madison

A new Amtrak platform in Fort Madison has been in the works for years.

The city wants to move the platform from its current spot to a new one closer to downtown.

But now delays could mean the city will lose an important revenue source for the project.

The problem is the city is waiting for BNSF to approve the platform design since it would go on their property, but because that is taking so long, the city is hoping for an extension on a grant that would help fund the project.

City Manager David Varley said the $750,000 Iowa DOT grant they received for the project has to be used in a 10 year span and the city is just a few months from that deadline.

If the city doesn’t get an extension, that could mean losing more than half of the funding for the project.

"As soon as we get these approved plans turned in, we’ve got everything on our end worked out and ready to turn in," City Manager David Varley said. "We are still trying to shoot for a date at the end of the year."

Amtrak officials met with residents Tuesday and talked about the future of service at the track and potential changes. 

Fort Madison averages 17 passengers a day and the city hopes to increase those numbers with a new platform downtown. 

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