Monday, May 07, 2012

Illinois, Indiana and Michigan to advance study of Midwest HSR

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Illinois, Indiana and Michigan have agreed to move forward with a comprehensive study that will help determine ways to reduce rail congestion and let trains achieve higher speeds along the Chicago-to-Detroit high-speed rail corridor.

The goal of the study, which will be funded through a $3.2 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration and $200,000 each from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Norfolk Southern, is to reduce passenger travel times between Chicago and Detroit and efficiently move freight through one of the nation's busiest freight rail networks, the congested Chicago to Porter, Ind., segment.

An important focus of the study will be reducing congestion by linking a double track passenger main to the 110 mph service at Porter. The study will build on progress Michigan has already made by achieving 110 mph service from Porter to Kalamazoo.

"The comprehensive study will help us establish faster passenger rail service for business and leisure travelers moving between Chicago and Detroit, as well as make freight movements more efficient," Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said.

"This is an important partnership in our efforts to reinvent Michigan, specifically creating an accelerated rail connection between Detroit and Chicago for both citizens and businesses," said Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. "Relieving congestion will also help the Midwest's freight industry by better enabling the rapid and efficient movement of manufactured and agricultural products."

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