Achievements

 

2023 NIPRA Accomplishments Report

 

LEADERSHIP

Paul Spoelhof of the City of Fort Wayne agreed to apply for the Midwest Connect Corridor I. D. Grant from the Federal Rail Administration (FRA)

NIPRA reached out to HNTB Corporation about preparing the Midwest Connect Corridor I. D. Grant application to the FRA.

Mid-Ohio-Regional Planning Corporation (MORPC) agreed to partner with NIPRA and Fort Wayne to apply for the Corridor I. D. Grant

NIPRA signed a contract with HNTB Corporation to apply for the Midwest Connect Corridor I. D. Grant

Paul Spoelhof agreed to represent the City of Fort Wayne as a member of the board, previously liaison status.

Steven Coxhead, Indiana Commissioner on Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) joined the NIPRA board as liaison with MIPRC and Indiana passenger Rail Alliance (IPRA)

Elected Larry Thompson as a new board member of NIPRA.

Met with Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) management to maintain support for NIPRA and the Midwest Connect Corridor I. D. Grant application to the FRA.

With NIPRA funding the application work by HNTB, the City of Fort Wayne submitted the Midwest Connect Corridor I. D. Grant to the Federal Rail Administration

Elected Andrew Yaney of Steel Dynamics Inc. as a new board member of NIPRA.

Revised the NIPRA board travel policy to improve travel reimbursement.

Representative Dave Abbott, Geoff Paddock and Fred Lanahan met with Rep. Jeff Thompson, chairman, Indiana House Ways and Means committee at the State House

Elected Elise Jones of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. (GFI) as a new board member of NIPRA.

Maintained memberships with Greater Fort Wayne Inc. and the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana

NIPRA board and selected supporters (including, State Sen. Johnson, State Rep. Abbott and Erin Dove staff for Sen. Braun) toured the rail mill plant at Steel Dynamics Inc. in Whitley County

Participated in Zoom meeting with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Toledo, Ohio and her staff.

Met with Ms. Sandy Spang and staff of TMACOG, regional planning organization for metropolitan Toledo, Ohio, and David Zavac of Congresswoman Kaptur’s office.

ADVOCACY

Presented on Midwest Connect Corridor I. D. Grant at Fort Wayne Tourism Master Plan meeting.

Consult with INDOT passenger rail staff & IPRA leadership regularly

Met with Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana to promote support for passenger rail service.

Met with Greater Fort Wayne Inc. to ensure support for passenger rail service to Fort Wayne and Northern Indiana.

Met with Mayor Sharetta Smith of Lima, Ohio to promote support for Midwest Connect passenger rail grant effort.

Met with HNTB & MORPC staff on Midwest Connect Corridor I. D. Grant.

Met with MPO staff from communities along the Midwest Connect Corridor.

Met with area state legislators to promote support for passenger rail service.

With partners from MORPC secured over 100 letters of support for the Midwest Connect corridor I. D. Grant

Reached out to mayors of communities in Indiana along our proposed passenger rail line to keep them informed of progress.

Met with Tanner Spencer, Congressman Jim Banks staff.

Coordinated with Amtrak government relations staff.

MEETINGS

NIPRA board meetings were held monthly.

NIPRA executive committee meetings were held monthly.

Two board members participated in Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance (IPRA) meetings.

Quarterly meetings were held with INDOT passenger rail staff.

Attended multiple INDOT ProPel US 30 meetings.

Participated in several Lakeshore Rail Alliance meetings.

Attended two Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Legislative meetings.

Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana Annual meeting

All Aboard Ohio Annual meeting.

Multiple webinar meetings on the proposed National Infrastructure Bank

Online meetings with the Federal Rail Administration (FRA)

Online meeting with Congressman Rudy Yakym of South Bend.

Met with staff members of US Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun

Attended Midwest Regional Rail Conference in Toledo, Ohio

Participated in Indiana Passenger Rail Round Table meeting in Indianapolis.

MEDIA COVERAGE

Online story in “The Local” on Corridor I. D. Grant

Media event to announce Midwest Connect Corridor I. D. Grant submission to the FRA; speakers, Mayor Tom Henry, Councilman Geoff Paddock and NIPRA President Fred Lanahan

“The Journal Gazette Newspaper” story on Midwest Connect Corridor I. D. Grant submission to FRA.

Fred Lanahan. president of NIPRA, interviewed on WOWO Radio about Midwest Connect grant application.

Letter to the editor in “The Journal Gazette” praising NIPRA advocacy for passenger rail

NIPRA president interviewed at Baker Street Station by TV 57 (ABC) of South Bend, Indiana

Fred Lanahan and Geoff Paddock of NIPRA executive committee interviewed by TV 57 from South Bend, Indiana

Several local TV news stories on the award of Corridor I. D. Grant by the FRA to Fort Wayne for the Midwest Connect project.

Journal Gazette Newspaper front page story on award of Corridor I. D. Grant for Midwest Connect

Fort Wayne Business Weekly article on award of Corridor I. D. Grant for Midwest Connect

Interviewed by reporter from Post Tribune newspaper of Northwest Indiana followed by story on award on Midwest Connect

 

NIPRA Accomplishments Report for 2022

Leadership

Added a new board member Betsy Kachmar and elected her as Secretary

Craig Blume was elected the new NIPRA Treasurer

Recognized retiring board members Holly Munoz, Dorothy Hagan, Adam Welch & Curt Sylvester for their service

Steve Coxhead, MIPRC Commissioner and IPRA board member, agreed to become a NIPRA board liaison

Paul Spoelhof (previously a liaison) agreed to be board member

Changed banks for improved service & interest

NIPRA ordered 100 All Aboard Indiana “made in the USA” T-shirts

Reprinted Investing in the Future brochures

Reinvigorated NIPRA Facebook page – 2,378 followers

Advocacy

Supported Senate Bill 13, Indiana Passenger Rail Commission

Jack Daniel, NIPRA V.P. testified in favor of Senate Bill 13 at the Senate Homeland Security and Transportation Committee

NIPRA coordinated with Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance to market “All Aboard Indiana”

Coordinated with Greater Fort Wayne Inc. on promoting passenger rail service for Fort Wayne and Northern Indiana

Per NIPRA request Mayor Tom Henry of Fort Wayne met with Governor Holcomb to promote passenger rail service in Northern Indiana

Mayor Tom Henry wrote a letter, at NIPRA request, to the regional vice president of CSX Railroad promoting cooperation on restoring passenger rail service to Fort Wayne and Northern Indiana

Board member Geoff Paddock reached out to Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, seeking support for passenger rail service improvement in Indiana

NIPRA held a candidate forum on passenger rail

Met several times over breakfast with Indiana State Senators Kruse and Johnson

NIPRA joined the Alliance for High-Speed Passenger Rail based in Chicago, Illinois

NIPRA officers and IPRA officers met with INDOT Commissioner Michael Smith and key staff to promote passenger rail in Indiana

NIPRA officers met twice at the State House with several state legislators, INDOT staff and a representative from the Governor’s office on promoting passenger rail in Indiana

Fort Wayne City Council passed a resolution in support of passenger rail service for Fort Wayne, sponsored by Councilman Geoff Paddock

Jack Daniel, NIPRA V.P., presented the Northern Indiana and Ohio Passenger Rail project to the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) Annual Meeting in Indianapolis

NIPRA sent a letter of support for the joint MIPRC and Amtrak CRISI grant for the Invest Midwest advanced planning project

NIPRA board passed a resolution in support of the proposed National Infrastructure Bank

 Meetings

NIPRA board meetings and executive committee meetings were held nearly every month

Select NIPRA board members attended most Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance (IPRA) online board meetings

Meeting with Greater Fort Wayne Inc. leadership seeking support for passenger rail service

NIPRA executive committee members met with Mayor Tom Henry promoting passenger rail service for Fort Wayne and Indiana

Two NIPRA board members participated in a Zoom call on the Toledo Passenger Rail Forum including a member of the Surface Transportation Board

Participated in online Zoom calls with the Lakeshore Rail Alliance (LRA)

Board members attended the Greater Fort Wayne Inc Legislative Breakfast

Several NIPRA board members met with a candidate for mayor of Fort Wayne on support for passenger rail service for the city and northern Indiana

Representatives of NIPRA and IPRA participated in a phone call with State Representative Ed Delaney of Indianapolis

Met with INDOT representatives to coordinate on support for passenger rail service in Indiana

NIPRA board members met with a local political party chairman seeking support for passenger rail service

NIPRA president participated in telephone interviews with reporters from the Indianapolis Star and WFYI Radio

Betsy Kachmar and Craig Blume provided input on the Propel US 30 INDOT Planning session at the New Haven Library

Media Coverage

Letters to the editor in Journal Gazette on passenger Rail Service for Fort Wayne and Indiana

Journal Gazette article 7/13/22

Fox 55 report 8/10/22

Fox TV 59 Indianapolis – interview with Fred Lanahan on Senate Bill 13 (Passenger Rail Commission)

Article including NIPRA interview published in the Gary Post Tribune on Senate Bill 13

Fort Wayne Business Weekly – 6/22/22, 8/3/22, 12/18/22

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2021


President Fred Lanahan shared the following accomplishments for 2021:
• Added two new NIPRA Board members
• Promoted Indiana Passenger Rail Commission bill that later died in the Indiana Senate
• Drafted a new Indiana Passenger Rail Commission bill with support and agreement on
wording from INDOT
• Met several times with Indiana State Legislators and INDOT
• Coordinated with partners at IPRA, All Aboard Ohio, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning
Commission and Lakeshore Rail Alliance
• Purchased 100 All Aboard Indiana T-shirts as a marketing effort
• Board members wrote 2 Op-Eds and letters to the editor promoting passenger rail
• Provided input on the draft Indiana State Rail Plan
• Reached out to mayors, local elected officials and three northern Indiana Metropolitan
Planning Organizations
• Maintained contact with Amtrak
• Maintained contact with the Federal Rail Administration (FRA)
• Attended Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Legislative Breakfast
• Staffed NIPRA Information Table at Fort Wayne Open Streets event
• Presented Northern Indiana and Ohio Passenger Rail project on Zoom to Rail Users Network
(RUN) annual meeting
• Kristen Brier, Multimodal Director, INDOT was guest speaker in October NIPRA board
meeting
• Reached out to freight railroads seeking to coordinate on passenger rail service
MEETINGS IN 2021
President Fred Lanahan shared the following meetings held in 2021:
• NIPRA board meetings and executive committee meetings were held every month
• INDOT management and staff
• Met with local political party leaders
• Participated in multiple passenger rail webinars
• Met several times with Senator Dennis Kruse
• Participated in monthly online meetings of Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance (IPRA) board
• Participated in several Zoom meetings with the Lakeshore Rail Alliance (LRA)
• Met with Mayor Tom Henry of the City of Fort Wayne
• Met with multiple state legislators at the Indiana State House
• Met with partners from Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance to develop All Aboard Indiana
marketing and promotion
• Sought meeting with Governor Eric Holcomb