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Illinois Senate Takes First Step Toward High-Speed Rail

By Lindsey Miller in News on Mar 18, 2010 9:00PM

Image via the White House

High-speed rail in the Midwest is slowly chugging along. The Illinois Senate passed a bill today to create a 12-member commission that's charged with coming up with an initial plan by March 2011 for how to build the system. The commission will decide how to structure a public-private partnership to design, build, and operate the system and recommend how to approach funding and integrating with existing transportation systems in the Midwest, according to the Midwest High-Speed Rail Association.

In January, Illinois received a grant of $1.23 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help pay for a high-speed rail system in the state, including improvements to the Chicago-St. Louis line to allow for 110-mph trains, and station and line enhancements along the Chicago-Detroit line, as well as a planning study. Other Midwest states also received funding, with the intended result a high-speed rail network in the Midwest.