A Potential New Amtrak Route Could Pass Through Des Moines

A study with potential new routes shows that an Amtrak route could pass through Des Moines, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.


What is the Long-Distance Service Study?

The Federal Railroad Administration has been conducting a long-distance service study to review Amtrak's routes and evaluate new options.

Long-distance routes are defined as routes of more than 750 miles, and Amtrak currently operates 15 long-distance trains.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill passed in 2021 tasked the FRA with this study.

Which Amtrak Route Could Pass Through Des Moines?

The Federal Railroad Administration's study includes 15 proposed preferred routes, one of which passes directly through Des Moines.

The route would begin in the Twin Cities and pass through cities such as Kansas City, Tulsa, Dallas-Fort Worth, and end in San Antonio.

The entire route would cover almost 1,600 miles and take approximately 32 hours to travel from end to end.

How Likely is the Proposed Amtrak Route to Actually Come to Des Moines?

While the Iowa Department of Transportation's agreement is not necessary for the proposal to move forward, it is an important stakeholder.

The FRA is currently collecting public comments and evaluating the study before presenting recommendations later this year.

However, it may take up to 15 years before any of the proposed routes actually begin operating.