From the Vault

"High Speed" Rail in Illinois: Boon or Boondoggle?
March 31, 2009

Curator's note: This video by Rich Samuels first aired on March 31, 2009 on WTTW's "Chicago Tonight" program as part of the Chicago Matters series "Beyond Burnham", underwritten by the Chicago Community Trust. Rich observes that, though he is a great lover of train travel, he is skeptical about the "high speed" rail project presently underway to raise the maximum speed from 79 miles per hour to 110 mph on the Amtrak route connecting Saint Louis and Chicago via Springfield. "High speed rail" in Europe and Asia typically means speeds in excess of 150 mph over a dedicated, electrified right-of-way. That's hardly what's presently proposed in the Land of Lincoln where Amtrak's passenger trains will be competing for space with the freight trains of Union Pacific.

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