Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Clean Transport

Illinois Boosts Chicago–St Louis High-Speed Train Funding

Chicago-St. Louis high speed train route (ILDOT)Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced on Wednesday a $102 million capital investment by the state in improving high-speed trains in the state.

Together with federal funds from the high-speed rail stimulus program in the Recovery Act, the capital will allow the Union Pacific Railroad and Illinois Department of Transportation to construct a new bridge and double-track a busy corridor on the Chicago–St Louis high-speed train line, used by Amtrak’s Illinois Service. The map at right shows the route of this key intercity train corridor.

The improvements will enhance safety and capacity and boost speed on parts of the line from 79 mph to about 110 mph, much as the Acela has cut times on the Washington–Boston run. They will carve the ride between cities by an hour and enable more daily round trips. The Chicago–St Louis high-speed train trip compares favorably with travel by car (almost 5 hours at non-peak times) or Metrobus (4.5 hours). It lowers stress on the traveler considerably, involves fewer climate-altering emissions than other forms of travel, and eliminates airport waits, delays, and cancellations.

Laying new rail track (Union Pacific)Check out the video from the Illinois DOT here for more on recent developments. In total, the state has committed $358.8 million to improve the Chicago–St Louis route, with the federal government funding the other $1.2 billion for high-speed train track overhaul, signal systems, and stations.

As we reported in March, Illinois DOT has also ordered lighter-weight, more fuel-efficient, and more responsive “Charger” diesel-electric locomotives from Siemens to serve this corridor. These trains, used widely in Europe, involve less maintenance and lower environmental impacts than locomotives currently used on the route.

To give you a sense of why high-speed train improvements along this route are significant, here’s a quote from the Encyclopedia of Chicago History:

Chicago is the most important railroad center in North America. More lines of track radiate in more directions from Chicago than from any other city. Chicago has long been the most important interchange point for freight traffic between the nation’s major railroads and it is the hub of Amtrak, the intercity rail passenger system. Chicago ranks second (behind New York City) in terms of the volume of commuter rail passengers carried each day.

City of St. Louis (public domain)

It’s worth noting that although St Louis is a relatively small city, it is the nation’s third-largest freight rail hub and also provides access to the Mississippi River transportation corridor from an almost 20-mile riverbank port. By trip-ton miles for an inland port, it ranks second in the nation, and third-largest by tonnage. The river handles more than 32 million tons of freight from St Louis annually.


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Fossil Fuels

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot indefinitely delayed a permitting decision on the relocation of a highly polluting metal shredding and recycling facility after the U.S....

Clean Transport

Courtesy of NRDC. By Kelly Blynn, Stefan Schaffer  This blog was co-authored with Maurice Muia, Climate Advisor to the City of St. Louis. St. Louis...

Cars

It’s no secret that transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States. So it’s not surprising that, besides promoting the use of public transit,...

Cars

With 70% of EV charging concentrated in 3 of Chicago's 77 neighborhoods, charging deserts highlight the racial divide of EVs.

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.