Illinois Seeking Two Grants For High-Speed Train Project

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM) — Illinois is working with three other states to secure nearly $1 billion in the latest redistribution of Obama administration high-speed rail money.

The deadline to apply was Monday.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts Reports

There are two grants being sought. One, amounting to $806.8 million, is being sought jointly by Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin to purchase higher-speed trains that would replace or supplement slower, aging Amtrak trains on lines radiating from Chicago to Detroit, Grand Rapids, St. Louis, Kansas City and Milwaukee.

The $806.8 million encompasses a grant application first announced last week by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who previously turned back $810 million intended for extension of the Chicago-Milwaukee Amtrak Hiawatha service to Madison, Wis.

Illinois Dept. of Transportation (IDOT) spokesman Guy Trigdell said a separate grant, filed by the state of Illinois, seeks $186 million in additional federal funding for the Chicago-St. Louis line that is being upgraded to 110-mile-an-hour speeds.

The state would provide a $42.4 million match for the money, and private railroads would provide $19.7 million, Trigdell said. The grant would be spent on additional track improvements, longer passing sidings, improved signals and upgraded crossing protection.

A third grant application seeks $800,000 to undertake planning for an Amtrak station in East St. Louis. The state would provide a $200,000 grant, he said.

Trigdell said that the U.S. Dept. of Transportation has not indicated when it will make its decision. In all, more than 20 states have applied for the $2.4 billion dollars in funding, rejected in February by newly-elected Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Illinois received $1.2 billion in the first round of high-speed rail grants last year, and received an additional $43 million after new governors in Wisconsin and Ohio rejected their grants.

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  • Bvandal

    “The state would provide a $42.4 million match for the money,”As if Illinois isn’t deep enough in debt,your favorite politicians want to spend more$ we don’t have! Has any one told them that Amtrak has never made any money?!!!! What cronies and unions are getting this pile of graft?!!!!!! Illinois, Land of crooks and cronies!

  • Karl Andrews

    It’s too bad that you are naive enough to believe that Illinois is broke. It is not!
    As for your comment about “cronies and unions”, well that just shows your lack of education. These improvements benefit the freight railroads as well as AMTRAK. As for the “cronies and unions” that operate the railroads, perhaps you best reconsider that here in the state of illinois , much of your food, your automobiles, the materials needed to build your house and machinery and the fuel to provide your electricity are are delivered by them. Perhaps it’s a waste of your money to provide your stupid,rightwing ass with food,shelter and sustenance. Do without it for a while,maybe it will make you smart.

  • Scotty

    I was really hoping that Milwaukee Madison line would have gone through. Buses from Madison to Chicago blow and the ride on a train, however long, still beats the snot out of Greybus milkman routes.

  • Illinois Seeking Two Grants For High-Speed Train Project | Official Website of Midwest High-Speed Rail

    […] three other states to secure nearly $1 billion in the latest redistribution of Obama administration high-speed rail […]

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