ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Right now, it takes five-and-a-half hours to get from St. Louis to Chicago by train but the director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association says a two-and-a-half hour ride should be the goal, arguing that it is critical to economic development.

“You can make a reasonable business trip to another city and get home before the kids go to bed,” Rick Harnish explains. “That’s the point when you really change the way companies start interacting, which leads to a much more productive economy.”

“Bringing the cities of the Midwest much closer together makes our economy much more efficient and a much more enjoyable place to live. Also, it has a real factor in where people choose to live.”

Harnish says a truly modern rail system in the region could become an “economic powerhouse” and make the Midwest a serious competitor with places like the northeast and California, which have high-speed trains or are building them. He is asking people to contact the governors of Missouri and Illinois and ask them to “step up” construction on the Chicago to St. Louis route.

“What we would like to see is stretches of new, dedicated high-speed track added to the existing improvement so that, overall, you end up with that two-and-a-half hour time, with a departure at least every hour,” Harnish said.


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