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Last weekend, the Midwest High Speed Rail Association (MHSRA) recognized Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn with the High Speed Rail Champion Award at its annual fall conference, held Oct. 9 and 10 in Chicago. Under Quinn's leadership, the state has requested $5 million in planning funds from the federal government to study a 220 mph high-speed rail line between Chicago and St. Louis. Illinois currently is the only Midwestern state actively seeking funds to advance a 220-mph rail line, according to MHSRA.
If federal funds are received, the state will match them. The funds would be used to determine the best way to link Chicago and St. Louis with 220 mph service, which could cut the trip time between the two cities to less than two hours.
The Chicago-to-St. Louis route would be the first leg of a planned network that would put 25 million people living in Midwestern metro areas within three hours of Chicago. MHSRA is forming an advisory board to spearhead the effort for 220 mph high-speed rail, which will be headed by Chicago attorney Lew Manilow.
The association also recognized Illinois Sen. Martin Sandoval and Rep. Elaine Nekritz for their contributions to high-speed rail development.
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