Construction under way on Ill. high-speed rail leg
By AP/St. Louis Public Radio
ALTON, Ill. – Illinois political leaders say construction now under way on part of a planned high-speed rail line linking St. Louis and Chicago is a job-creating first in the country.
Gov. Pat Quinn told reporters in Alton on Friday that upgrades planned between that Mississippi River city and the central Illinois community of Lincoln are the nation's first involving high-speed rail.
That $98 million effort is a part of the $1.1 billion the Obama Administration awarded in January to improve passenger rail service between Chicago and St. Louis.
The improvements are expected to allow trains to operate at up to 110 mph. That's up from 79 mph currently. At the higher speed, travel time between the cities would be cut by about 90 minutes, to under four hours.