By Bill Raack, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – The state of Illinois and Union Pacific have announced a groundbreaking agreement to pursue high-speed rail between St. Louis and Chicago.
The Illinois Department of Transportation has agreed to fund a $400 thousand study into the upgrades that are necessary along the Amtrak route. Senator Dick Durbin says the collaboration is the first of its kind in the country.
"By signing this agreement, Chicago-St. Louis line is the first high speed rail corridor in America to have a formal agreement between a state department of transportation and a host railroad and I know, knowing Claire McCaskill, Missouri is going to be right there, next in line to move from St. Louis to Kansas City," Durbin said.
No cost estimate of the project is available yet but officials say they hope to take advantage of the $8 billion in stimulus funds that President Obama has earmarked for high-speed passenger rail.