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Deal Reached On Chicago-St. Louis High-Speed Rail

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High-Speed Train (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

High-Speed Train (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (AP) - Federal, state and railroad officials have signed an agreement that they say moves Illinois closer to having high-speed passenger service between Chicago and St. Louis.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Gov. Pat Quinn and officials with Union Pacific Railroad and Amtrak signed Wednesday’s agreement.

The deal means construction on the high-speed rail line will continue in the spring in central Illinois. Work on this phase is expected to end next fall.

Officials say the high-speed corridor between St. Louis and Chicago should be running by 2012.

Amtrak reported in September that ridership on its rail line between Chicago and St. Louis was up 11 percent over the last fiscal year. The line is one of Amtrak’s most popular routes.

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