$102 Million Brings Chicago-St. Louis High Speed Rail a Step Closer

A $102 million investment by Illinois along with federal funds from the Recovery Act will pay for double-tracking and a new rail bridge to enable 109 mph service on a key section of Amtrak's Chicago to St. Louis high speed rail corridor.
September 3, 2014, 1pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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This particular corridor was the first of many listed by Time's Michael Grunwald last month in the post, "Responding to Distorted Criticisms of the President's High Speed Rail Program," that illustrated results of the president's ambitious high speed rail stimulus program in response to false claims by critics that the program is a failure.

"A key swath of the high-speed rail line between Chicago and St. Louis is set to get $102 million in upgrades, Gov. Pat Quinn announced on Sunday (August 31)," writes Matt McKinney of the Chicago Sun-Times.

The two-year project will reduce travel times between Chicago and St. Louis from five-and-a-half hours to four-and-a-half hours, Quinn said in a written statement..

The work will be performed by the Union Pacific Railroad and overseen by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), according to IDOT news [PDF]. Amtrak's Illinois Service operates on the corridor.

"This double-tracking [between downstate Mazonia and Elwood] will then allow more daily round-trips at increased 110-mph speeds. Trains now travel at 110 mph between Dwight and Pontiac," adds McKinney.

A map [PDF] of the route and multi-media are available on IDOT's High Speed Rail project page.

"The state has committed $358.8 million to the Chicago-St. Louis route, with the remainder of the $1.7 billion project federally funded," notes McKinney.

[Hat tip to Adam Snider of Politico for including the article in Tuesday's Morning Transportation].

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Published on Sunday, August 31, 2014 in Chicago Sun-Times
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