The $133-million CREATE-related grant was part of a larger $1.2-billion federal award to bring high-speed passenger rail service to Illinois by 2014.
Illinois' high-speed rail signature route, Chicago to St. Louis, will receive $1.1 billion for corridor improvements. Improvements to this 284-mile route will allow passenger rail service to operate at speeds up to 110 mph, reducing the total trip time from Chicago to St. Louis by over an hour. The improvements include an overhaul of track, signal systems and existing stations as well as the implementation of state-of-the-art train control technology that will improve train safety. In addition, Illinois will receive $1.25 million to complete an environmental impact study for a second track along the same route.
Thanks to multi-state
steering group, Illinois will benefit from awards to several other neighboring
states that make up the Chicago Hub Network. The region received a total of
$2.6 billion - more than any other regional network. The network is designed to
connect cities throughout the region to Chicago with reliable high-speed and
conventional intercity rail service.
The Federal Railroad
Administration received 259 grant applications from 37 states and the District
of Columbia requesting nearly $57 billion in funding - far exceeding the
initial $8 billion available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
of 2009. In total, 79 applications from 31 States were selected for funding.