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High-speed can succeed: Study says bullet trains in Illinois costly but feasible

By Paul Merrion October 02, 2013

A true high-speed rail system in Illinois would be hugely expensive but feasible, whisking passengers at 220 mph from Chicago to St. Louis and, eventually, Indianapolis, a new state-funded study concluded.

It would start at O’Hare International Airport and take just 127 minutes to reach downtown St. Louis, stopping at Champaign-Urbana in less than an hour. Springfield would be 78 minutes away from Chicago’s Union Station. Champaign to downtown Indianapolis would take about a half-hour.

A game-changing transportation system like that would take a “substantial” public investment but would not need operating subsidies, according to a panel of experts at both campuses of the University of Illinois and several outside consulting firms.

“Rapid, comfortable, low-cost transportation between these urban areas would boost the Illinois economy, create jobs, unite people in the region, enhance personal mobility, increase international competitiveness and provide safe, modern, sustainable transportation for future generations,” concluded the study headed by the U of I’s Rail Transportation and Engineering Center Urbana-Champaign.
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