January 5, 2012

FRA awards Illinois $186M in high-speed rail funds

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) awarded more than $186 million to the Illinois Department of Transportation for a high-speed rail project that will reduce travel times and put Americans back to work this spring.

The project will extend construction of the corridor north to Joliet, allowing for 110-mph service along nearly 70% of the route. Construction is already under way on the Chicago – St. Louis corridor, and work on the extension to Joliet will begin this spring. Once construction is complete, travelers can expect reductions of more than an hour in trip time, with improved on-time performance as well. Ridership has grown 137% over the last five years. The state has plans to add more frequent trips, and further reduce trip times on this popular route in the future.

The corridor will also benefit from next-generation American-made trains, funded as part of a previously announced $782 million grant that will pump new life into domestic manufacturing. States will purchase 33 quick-acceleration locomotives and 120 bi-level passenger cars to operate in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Missouri, California, Washington and Oregon.

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