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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Illinois Senate creates high-speed rail commission


Today, the Illinois Senate voted unanimously to create the Illinois and Midwest High Speed Rail Commission, which will aim to develop a roadmap for creating bullet-train lines in Illinois and neighboring states, according to the Midwest High Speed Rail Association.

Under General Assembly rules, such a commission can be created by a vote in just one of the two legislative chambers, so no further legislative action is required.

The commission’s aim will be to “recommend the best governmental structure for a public-private partnership to design, build, operate, maintain and finance a high-speed rail system for Illinois and the Midwest,” according to the Senate resolution.

The group will have 19 members, including 10 appointed by the governor, three by the Illinois House and three by the Illinois Senate, as well as the Illinois transportation secretary, executive director of the Illinois Commerce Commission and executive director of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.

The Midwest High Speed Rail Association proposes to build a network of 220 mph trains with Chicago serving as the hub, including a St. Louis-to-Chicago line that would serve Edwardsville, Springfield, Decatur, Champaign, Kankakee, the Southland, McCormick Place, downtown Chicago and O’Hare International Airport. Trains could make the trip between Chicago and St. Louis in one hour, 52 minutes.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/7/2010