NIPRA has contracted with HNTB to conduct pre-NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) planning activities, which include identifying the project’s purpose and need, conducting a route and service level alternatives analysis, and completing conceptual engineering. The plan will also evaluate service alternatives to determine operating characteristics, including the number of round trips and the maximum train speeds. Decisions from these early planning activities will be applied toward the environmental review process, which is required under NEPA for potential future Federal funding.