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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

IDOT to spend $8.6 million on more engineering studies for Springfield HSR corridor


The Illinois Department of Transportation has committed $8.6 million for the second phase of engineering studies for a high-speed rail line running through the 10th Street corridor in Springfield, Ill. The study will determine the route that will be included in an eventual Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) record of decision.

The funding commitment coincides with the FRA’s approval to release Draft Environmental Impact Statements (DEIS) for future improvements to the Chicago-to-St. Louis high-speed rail corridor that’s under construction.

Awarded through the “Illinois Jobs Now!” capital plan, the latest grant will help Springfield officials develop design plans for corridor improvements. The DEIS indicates two remaining “build alternative” routes are being considered for high-speed rail service through Springfield, both of which run along the 10th Street corridor. The Tier I DEIS focuses on double tracking the entire line, while the Tier 2 DEIS includes two alternatives on the 10th Street corridor that could carry high-speed trains.

IDOT and Springfield also will work to complete $30 million worth of interim safety improvements on the existing 3rd Street corridor, mainly involving the addition of quad gates. The work will enable passenger trains to increase speeds from 25 mph to 40 mph along the corridor.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/29/2012