Dave Dahl, IRN State Capitol

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN/KMOX) – Chicago-to-St Louis is not the only Illinois high-speed rail route getting some federal cash.

Peoria’s man in the Obama Cabinet is looking at a busy final year.

Ray LaHood, who represented much of Downstate in the U. S. House for seven terms, will leave his job as U. S. Secretary of Transportation at the end of this term. He says 2012 will be busy and won’t discuss publicly his plans beyond.

While Republicans are piling on President Obama, “I certainly would have supported the president’s initiative to put people to work,” says LaHood. “I think his initiatives have been very bipartisan.”

LaHood this week announced the $150 million purchase of a line between Chicago and Detroit for high-speed rail. While the high-speed project would make that trip only a half-hour shorter – and shorten the Chicago-St Louis trip by about an hour – LaHood points to the economic and environmental benefits as being at least as important as faster trains.

 Copyright IRN/KMOX

Comments (3)
  1. Willie Green says:

    The upgrade of service in the Chicago-Detroit corridor is very good news. With streamlinging of the border crossing at Sarnia and Windsor, this will eventually develop a vital corridor that stretches from Chicago thru Detroit all the way to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec.

    Regional passenger rail service is a long term growth market due to diminishing global supplies of easily extractable fossil fuels. We can’t afford to build state-of-the-art trains all across our nation. But it certainly is more pragmatic to steadily revive, upgrade, modernize and streamline the traditional service we once enjoyed.

  2. Ed Golterman says:

    This was proposed 20 years ago from St. Louis to Kansas City and from
    Kansas City to St. Louis. Missouri is now 40 years behind. That’s too far behind.

  3. J. Madison says:

    The “high speed rail” boondoggle gets bigger and bigger each and every day. Want to know why our federal government is so far in the red? Here is a prime example. And by the way, who in their right mind is looking for a high speed train to Detroit? I would speculate that the only people looking for a high speed train in that neck of the woods are the ones who are looking to leave Detroit by any means possible; train, plane, bus or even foot.

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