Illinois To Acquire At Least 35 High-Speed Rail Trains

The Federal Railroad Administration has tapped Illinois to lead the multi-state procurement of next-generation locomotives for high-speed rail, Gov. Pat Quinn announced yesterday.

If the other state’s approve, the Illinois Department of Transportation will spearhead efforts to procure at least 35 next-generation diesel locomotives for high-speed passenger trains on behalf of Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri and Washington.

The Federal Railroad Administration has set aside $808 million to build the next generation of passenger rail equipment, and IDOT will manage and oversee the process and develop a detailed project plan, among other responsibilities.

“Our goal is to offer 110-mile-per-hour service on at least 75 percent of the Chicago-St. Louis corridor – the segment from Dwight to Alton – by the end of 2015, and these locomotives are the key to achieving that goal,” said Illinois Secretary of Transportation Ann Schneider in a statement. “It takes time to build these complex and powerful engines, however, and we are moving quickly to get this procurement underway as soon as possible.”

In 2012, Illinois debuted 110-mph service on a 15-mile segment of the Chicago-St. Louis corridor from Dwight to Pontiac.

And Illinois is working with the state of Michigan to create 110-mph service from Chicago to Detroit as the next Midwest segment targeted to run at higher speeds.

“This decision by the federal government is a testament to Illinois’ role as a national leader in high-speed rail,” Quinn said. “This important multi-state procurement is a key to success for high-speed rail throughout the nation, and I have directed my administration to move forward quickly.”

Amtrak Train No. 302 (Lincoln Service) Approaches Joliet Union S

Source : progressillinois

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