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Illinois In Line For Next-Generation Trains

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French High Speed Rail V150 Train

A French high-speed rail V150 train. (Credit: Réseau Ferré de France (RFF))

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois is in line for funding to purchase some new trains.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s David Roe reports, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood says Illinois receive a share of $334 million awarded to five states in total, which will be used to buy next-generation trains.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s David Roe reports

The money is to be spent on purchasing 33 locomotives and 120-bi-level passenger cars for use on the Midwest’s developing high speed rail network.

Illinois, along with California, Iowa, Michigan and Missouri, will make a single bid to get the most favorable prices.

Transportation officials say President Barack Obama’s administration has kicked in more than $10 billion to lay the groundwork for high-speed rail networks.

One proposed 220 mph bullet train route would run from Chicago to Champaign-Urbana in less than an hour. In June, Gov. Pat Quinn announced plans to spend $1.25 million to study the idea.

The state is examining costs and benefits of high-speed rail service between O’Hare International Airport, downtown Chicago, McCormick Place and Champaign-Urbana, as well as extending the line to cities beyond Champaign-Urbana, including St. Louis and Indianapolis.

Another plan calls for passenger trains to St. Louis go from their current maximum speed of 79 mph to 110 mph.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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.)

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