high-speed rail

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Governmental and religious officials rallied Thursday for the Illinois Department of Transportation to build a high-speed rail stop in East St. Louis. 

IDOT working on a high-speed rail line connecting St. Louis to Chicago. Construction is already underway on rail improvements between Joliet and Alton, where a station is under construction. 

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Illinois Department of Transportation is considering two options for a high-speed rail line between St. Louis and Granite City. 

It’s part of a broader high-speed rail corridor between St. Louis and Chicago that’s aimed at shortening commute times between the two cities.

Construction is already underway on rail improvements between Alton and Joliet. But Congress hasn’t issued federal funding yet to build a high-speed rail line between St. Louis and Illinois. IDOT is taking the preliminary steps to apply for the federal money.

(via Flickr/aka Kath)

Illinois and the federal government have approved an environmental impact statement for the high-speed rail line under construction between Chicago and St. Louis.

The review is an important step because it identifies a route through Springfield that would end a dispute that had threatened to hold up the project.

It also recommends a route around some of the congested tangle of rail lines between Chicago and suburban Joliet. Upgrades to that suggested corridor would be $500 million cheaper than the existing route because fewer overpasses would be needed.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was on board Friday when an Amtrak train reached speeds of 111 mph for the first time along a Chicago to St. Louis route. The train hit the mark on a stretch between Dwight and Pontiac before braking back to normal speeds of 79 mph. By the end of November, paying passengers will get to experience the higher speeds on that initial section between Dwight and Pontiac. 

(map courtesy of the Illinois Dept. of Transportation)

State and federal officials held a meeting in Alton Thursday on plans to upgrade train tracks between St. Louis and Chicago to allow for high-speed service.

Work is already underway to improve tracks and road crossings in Illinois to allow for higher-speed trains three times per day. But Mike Garcia with the Illinois Department of Transportation says officials want to be able offer more service through their partner, Amtrak.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A Missouri House committee has dealt a setback to Gov. Jay Nixon's quest for $1 billion in federal high-speed rail money.

The House Budget Committee rejected an attempt Wednesday to insert the rail money into a state budget bill.

That comes just two weeks after Nixon held a news conference to announce Missouri was applying for $1 billion of the $2.4 billion of federal rail money that Florida decided not to use.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri is one of a handful of states applying for some $2.4 billion in federal funding for high-speed rail projects that Florida rejected last month.

Governor Jay Nixon was in Kirkwood today to announce Missouri's application for nearly $1 billion in new funding.

In recent months, rail projects have  become politicized with many GOP lawmakers calling for states to refuse the funds.

(via Flickr/bridgepix)

Good morning! Here are a few of today's starting headlines:

Missouri to apply for high-speed rail funding

The State of Missouri will apply for federal funding to construct high-speed rail service between the state's two metropolitan areas. Gov. Jay Nixon is scheduled to announce details of the application during a 10 a.m. news conference at the Kirkwood Amtrak station in suburban St. Louis. Nixon's office says the application will include a proposal for immediate upgrades to improve speeds on existing lines between St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.

(via Flickr/aka Kath)

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will host the last open house tomorrow to answer questions about the high-speed rail project between St. Louis and Chicago.

The public meetings, which began March 1, are aimed at answering questions about a recent environmental study. The study evaluates the impact of adding a second track to the high-speed route.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Illinois is set to get millions of dollars for high-speed rail projects that were supposed to go to two other states. But that news may not be as good as it sounds.