Nick Gale, Illinois Bureau

 ILLINOIS (IRN) – High-speed rail keeps progressing in Illinois, even though some hoped-for funds to help the project didn’t come through.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says he is disappointed that the new federal transportation program, passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, does not include funding for Amtrak. “We were hoping for additional funds for Amtrak to improve service and reliability and couldn’t get that through the House of Representatives,” Durbin said.  He says funds for Amtrak could have been used for the high-speed rail project linking Illinois with Detroit and St. Louis, with trains traveling 110 mph.

Despite Congress leaving Amtrak out of the transportation program, Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider says progress continues on high-speed rail. “We’re in the final summer of construction on the route between Chicago and St. Louis. That work should be done later this summer,” Schneider said. She says a demonstration route between Dwight and Pontiac should be running by the fall.

Copyright IRN



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