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Midwest wins big in $8 billion nationwide high speed and intercity passenger rail awards from federal stimulus

Midwestern states have been awarded $2.6 billion of the $8 billion available to states across the country to develop faster, more frequent passenger rail service.

The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission issued a press release Thursday (1/28) congratulating the federal government and the Midwestern states for their commitment to developing a network of faster, more frequent passenger rail service in the region.

Funding has been awarded to improve track and signaling on existing lines (allowing for faster and more frequent service), to conduct the environmental work necessary to bring higher speed service on other lines, and to conduct feasibility studies for additional service. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin will all receive a portion of the awards.

The awards include $1.1 billion to implement 110 mph service on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor; $810 million to initiate passenger rail service between Milwaukee and Madison; and $400 million to start up passenger rail service between Ohio's major metropolitan areas.

Smaller awards that will complement these larger projects include $31 million for a number of different projects that will improve safety and reliability on the St. Louis-Kansas City line; $1 million to conduct environmental and other required work on the remainder of the Chicago-Twin Cities corridor (Madison-Twin Cities); and project-specific awards that will significantly relieve congestion on the Chicago-Detroit corridor.

These awards are the first major federal investment in passenger rail service in decades, and will create needed jobs, economic stimulus and new transportation options in each of the 8 Midwestern states that applied. The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission will work to ensure continued funding for the Midwest to build out the entire passenger rail network envisioned in the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative and the Ohio Hub plans.

The press release, which contains a summary chart of all the Midwestern states' awards, can be accessed here.

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Secretariat services provided by The Council Of State Governments' Midwestern Office.