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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Illinois officials, Midwest high-speed group lobby for $4 billion HSR appropriation in 2010

Today, Illinois elected officials, as well as representatives from the Midwest High Speed Rail Association (MHSRA) and public interest advocacy group Illinois PIRG, called on the U.S. Senate to match the House’s $4 billion commitment to high-speed rail in the FY2010 transportation appropriations bill. The Senate’s version of the bill included $1.2 billion for high-speed rail.

The funds would “help ensure the nation makes a lasting investment in the technology,” following President’s Obama’s commitment of $8 billion for high-speed rail in the stimulus bill, the representatives said.

“There is tremendous demand across Illinois and the country for high-speed rail, and we hope the U.S. Senate answers the call,” said Illinois Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) in a prepared statement.

Illinois has applied for more than $4 billion in high-speed stimulus funds to complete necessary improvements to operate 110 mph trains between Chicago and St. Louis, and upgrade service between Chicago and the Quad Cities. The state general assembly passed a capital bill that includes $400 million for high-speed rail and $450 million for other rail improvements.

MHSRA and Illinois PIRG are working as part of the coalition, which aims to secure a $4 billion appropriation for high-speed rail in 2010. To learn more about the coalition, visit its Web site.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/1/2009