Quinn Announces $1.25 Million Expenditure To Study Bullet Trains For Illinois

CHICAGO (CBS/AP) – The state of Illinois will spend $1.25 million to study whether bullet trains could one day whisk passengers between Chicago and Champaign-Urbana in less than an hour.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn made the announcement Thursday at a meeting of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association in Chicago.

Quinn said the University of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Transportation and a special advisory group will study the possibility of a 220-mph passenger rail service.

The governor said expanding rail service would create thousands of jobs and improve Illinois’ position in the global economy.

“Illinois is leading the nation with our work to expand high-speed and passenger rail,” Quinn said in a statement.

The study will examine costs and benefits of high-speed rail service between O’Hare International Airport, downtown Chicago, McCormick Place and Champaign-Urbana. It also would explore extending the line to cities beyond Champaign-Urbana, including St. Louis and Indianapolis.

The findings would be presented to Quinn in late 2012.

Members appointed to an advisory group that will assist with the study are transportation experts, rail advocates, labor leaders and regional planners.

“With this historic investment in bullet train planning, Illinois is making a down payment on a faster and cleaner transportation system that’s more friendly to families as well as business,” one of the appointees, Rick Harnish of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, said in a statement.

Illinois already is receiving substantial funds from the federal government to upgrade rail lines linking Chicago and St. Louis. The current plan calls for passenger trains to go from their current maximum speed of 79 mph to 110 mph.

The type of rail service discussed this week would be faster and in line with some European countries and Japan.

Critics say the cost of developing high-speed rail nationwide isn’t worth it. Some states have even declined federal grants, given the matching costs.

Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • Tina Spencer Aurand

    I Thought the state was broke??

  • tom Sharp

    Which high-ranking Democrat’s family or friends got the contract?

    • Avg Joe

      the thiefs of madigan and daley will handle this heist…after all we can get the same deal as we got for the parking meters….Gov. no-backbone, da wimp is just a yes man puppet till little lisa has a tantrem and wants to be Gov……

  • Patrick

    I am all for better transit. About time we caught up with France…Japan…but why does it cost 1.25 million to look into it?

  • Pam

    Bottom line Gov Quinn: We are broke. We cannot afford it! OMG this is totally nuts.

  • AD

    State Politicians still wasting your money at its best. Unreal they will spend excess money for a study of fast trains but state can not pay schools for money owed for education. or other government obligations where money is owed. Soon taxes will need to be raised again because of all the wasted spnding. I am unemployed and would love to do that study for 75 M. saving 50m for state.

  • william procenti

    Crook county is the reason why this Baboon is in office, thanks again to the people who only vote according to a color and not the issues.

  • Ritter


  • Jim

    I’ll do it for an even million, saving the taxpayers a quater of a million dollars. I don’t know how I would be able to put food on the table, but we all need to make sacrifices for the good of the state. This is a joke and hopefully Quinn is recalled next month (6 month grace period ends in July).

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/06/03/train-would-go-from-chicago-to-champaign-in-under-an-hour/ Train Would Go From Chicago To Champaign In Under An Hour « CBS Chicago

    […] As CBS 2’s David Morrison reports, the proposed bullet train to Champaign-Urbana would get commuters from downtown Chicago to the home … […]

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