220 mph Bullet Train Suggested For Midwest

CHICAGO (CBS) — A new study says a Midwest bullet train could cost more than $83 billion, but it would also run at a speed of 220 mph.

As CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports, the Midwest has been working on plans to upgrade its current Amtrak system for some time.

A high-speed rail corridor from Chicago to St. Louis is already in the works. Speeds on that line would run up to 110 mph.

But the proposed new bullet train system would run trains at double that speed. It would feature Chicago as the main hub, with routes stretching to Minneapolis, Detroit, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Cleveland.

The Chicago Tribune’s John Hilkevitch says a new study by the Midwest High Speed Rail Association and Siemens Inc. says running trains at speeds slower than 220 mph doesn’t make sense, given construction costs and the need to transport passengers in an efficient fashion.

The study says the $83.6 billion cost would be offset by revenues from higher ridership than the 110 mph proposed line, Hilkevitch reported.

The planned bullet trains would run on a dedicated track with no grade crossings, eliminating the risk of cars or pedestrians being hit by the high-velocity trains.

The speed for the bullet trains would work out to about 3 hours between Chicago and any endpoint.

Do you think the bullet train is worth the money? Leave a comment below.

  • Joel

    IF Amtrak thinks it is cost effective to build a high speed train then let Amtrak build AND pay for it!
    Amtrak can recoop the cost in sale of tickets.
    Good luck

    3 hour train…………20 min taxi ride to car rental.$$……………..20 min paperwork to rent car.$$……..

    5 hour drive…………..allready have car
    I will drive! Leave when I want! Return when I want!

    • eje

      joel – if they build a bullet train system, it would be operated much the same as airport terminals – with car rental services in close proximity (inside the terminal or right outside the door). plus many people who travel for business who take a cab to/from destination upon arrival (especially for short day trips). not to mention the cost of gas isn’t going down (we can’t drill our way out this either), trains are & should be a viable option … just remember how transit was crippled after 9/11 shut-down airspace across the country.

      • Bozo

        I worry about security. Who’s going to guard the tracks ? You tear up a section of track in front of a train going 200 MPH and it would be a disaster.

      • Don Keith

        eje you are right ! ‘ there is something about a train’

        I hope they are like the Chinese/Japanese trains, electric !

        What good is money if you cant get somewhere fast ! A train from Seattle to Chicago, 50 years ago ran at more than 110 mph…

        The air lines are doing every thing they can to derail the trans !

  • Carol Henrichs

    110 mph on existing track is not high speed rail! Why do we want to settle for inferior transportation in this country? Bring on the bullet train.


    How many more billions are going to be wasted on Amtrak?Another money losing inept government run fiasco! They lose money every year but the politicians just keep throwing more money at them! How many people want to go from Chicago to St Louis every day,week,month,or year? The numbers will show it’s another money losing boondoggle! Do the politicians really think the money being wasted on this current “HIGHSPEED” (110mph) BOONDOGGLE are going to solve the nations or states transportation problems? Drive I 55 or I 57 and most cars are going 75 or 80 and yes even faster now! Typical politicians,someone is going to get rich off these deals (it wont be you or I) and the State of Ill-repute and America will continue going bankrupt,all the while raising your taxes to pay for these gigantic money losing projects.


    Let’s see,the study says,”the $83.6 billion cost would be offset by revenues from higher ridership than the proposed 110 mph line”. The current slower speed of the Amtrak trains is not the reason Amtrak has never covered their costs or even broke even. Amtrak is a huge money losing fiasco because it’s run by the inept government. Can you say USPS? How many Amtrak riders are currently going from Chicago to St. Louis on a daily,weekly,monthly,or yearly basis? The numbers show why Amtrak loses money every year. Drive I 55 or I 57 now and you’ll find most cars going 80 or 85 mph. Do you really think another 25 mph is going to switch people from their cars to the train?!!! The current money being wasted on this 110 mph boondoggle is a prime example of our inept politicians and government wasting tax payers dollars,while they and their well connected cronies fill their pockets.Wait and see,they will waste all this money on this 110 mph line they just started,it will lose money and then years from now they will throw $ billions more for a bullet train that also will lose money every year. They will say the reason the 110 mph train lost money every year was it wasn’t fast enough.They wont tell you that the unions want more money or the campaign contributions may stop.There’s a reason the State of Ill-Repute and America are going bankrupt,the politicians and their cronies continue to fill their pockets while the rest of us suckers go broke. Bullet trains,yea,that’s the answer to all our problems!

  • Blackfoot...

    Well, train, train, take me on out of this town
    Train, train, Lord, take me on out of this town
    Well, that woman I’m in love with, Lord, she’s Memphis bound

    Well, leavin’ here, I’m just a raggedy hobo
    Lord, I’m leaving here, I’m just a raggedy hobo
    Well, that woman I’m in love with, Lord, she’s got to go

    Well, goodbye pretty mama, get yourself a money man
    Goodbye, pretty mama, Lord, get yourself a money man
    You take that midnight train to Memphis
    Lord, leave me if you can
    Oh, take that midnight train to Memphis
    Lord, leave me if you can
    Oh, take that train, baby

  • Dennis

    I am a Train fan. I would love this thing. But, I am also a taxpayer and I don’t like paying this money out. The Midwest Rail people told me in a seminar that private companies could build and maintain this service since it will make money. GO FOR IT! Spending my money is another subject.

  • JACK

    Isn’t it interesting that all the nay-sayers don’t mention the cost of gas when making their yaps. If the Republicans have their way, a gallon will soon cost $ 5, 6, 7 or more a gallon.

    The USA continues its nose-dive as a ‘third world country — God bless all the Elephants for all the manure they try and spread.


      Jack,Isn’t it funny that the Donkeys have been in the majority in office for the last couple of years? Oh yea,blame it on Bush! It’s not the Republicans that put a moratorium on oil drilling in the gulf. Oh yea,is it the Republicans that don’t want to drill up in ANWR ? That’s 19,000,000 acres of frozen tundra,do you really think the polar bears or caribou would mind if we take a few acres to drill up some oil? I’m real positive the tax payers money the President is giving to Brazil to drill for oil is going to lower our cost of gas at the pump! His promise to be their best customer has to make you wonder if that will bring down our price at the pump. You need to get informed and pay attention to what’s going on.The price we all are paying at the pump right now isn’t because we are running low on supplies, it’s because the oil companies continue to make record breaking profits every quarter. Check the big oil and big Wall Street banks political contribution records and you will see most campaign money goes to the Donkeys. If I could take a train to the VA hospital I would. If I could take a train the 4 miles to my local grocery store I would. I’m positive that my 4 son in laws would love to take a train to work every day,but no trains go to where they have to work. My daughter in law takes a train to work every day down town,but she has to drive 12 miles to the train station every day to get to that train. Do you really think any high speed train is going to lower the cost of a gallon of gas? Get real with your belief that the reason our country is in a nose drive and on the way to being a third world country has anything to do with the Elephants. Are you really happy with the “Change you can believe in”? Oh, and how about the fact that the Donkey President has spent more money in the 2 years he’s been in office,than all the Presidents since George Washington combined have spent. I know that’s the Elephants fault too,they made him do it.

  • Bachmann model trains

    i can not accept 110 mp is high speed train .it is normal speed. you can say it is requirement of any traveler.

  • HISpeedtraveller

    Having ridden on the ICE in Germany and seeing how it connects to all parts of Germany and into France and other EU countries it would be a terrific asset to the US.There do need to be dedicated tracks because the current tracks were not made for the high speeds. One of my concerns is that AMTRAK would make the fares too high and that would reduce the ridership. If they can keep the fares below those of air travel then it will succeed. These trains run on electricity not diesel so that is also a cheaper alternative to automobiles.

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/05/02/state-to-get-word-on-high-speed-rail-grants/ State To Get Word On High-Speed Rail Grants « CBS Chicago

    […] Officials say 220 mph bullet train would feature Chicago as the main hub, with routes stretching to … But that plan would cost a grand total of $83 billion. […]

  • John

    A high speed rail would be a GREAT asset for this country! Having traveled on Japan’s AMAZING train network for 3 years, they have got things right! Trains are ALWAYS on time, never late, they’re quite, they’re fast, and most importantly it’s reliable! You don’t ever have to worry about a train beind delayed or cancelled due to weather. Some of you may argue that we won’t use it and that we will still rely on airlines, i call shennanigans! They say you should get to an airport an hour and half to 2 hours before your flight takes off, in that 2 hours you’re already almost to St. Louis! If they keep the prices low it will succeed amazingly! Every time I took the bullet train in Japan it was always packed!! And they have trains leaving every 20 minutes to the same destination. Most importantly, I’m not going to be stripped down in public and felt up by the TSA. I’m going to arrive 5 minutes before the train leaves, walk on board, and be on my way. Winning!

  • Bill


    Sorry to say this is NOT Japan.
    The Illinois high speed train will only go from Chicago to St Louis.
    That is it! FIVE times a day. Miss the train and wait 2 1/2 hours for the next.
    Amtrak 2011 is on time only 74.7% of the time.
    Speed is not the issue. Not having assigned seats, loading of bags and the time spent at station stops is what slows Amtrak down.

    Japan trains are resonable cost.
    Have you ridden the Amtrak train now? NOT a cheap ticket.
    Comparing Japan high speed train to Illinois ONE high speed train is like
    comparing apples to oranges.

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