High-speed rail alternative routes in Central Illinois

By Beau Ebenezer

August 14, 2012 Updated Aug 14, 2012 at 8:20 PM CDT

NORMAL Ill -- A study by Hanson Professional Services has come up with two final alternative routes for enhancing high speed rail throughout the heart of Illinois.

The new rail will have train speeds of up to 110 miles per hour, and allow up to eight round trips per day.

Right now, the infrastructure can only give a max of three round trips a day.

The new corridor will also contain two tracks so more passenger trains can run.

"If your going to grow and prosper economically, your gonna have to have good access to transportation. Both for freight and passenger. This is going to greatly improve the access to Central Illinois, in terms of passenger access," said Hanson Professional Services Engineer, Kirk Brown.

The estimated cost of the project is between $4.1 and $4.9 billion.

Approval by the Federal Railroad Administration is expected by the first of the year.

If approved, the route alternative will be decided between the Rock Island Metra Line or the current Canadian National Heritage Corridor to Chicago Union Station.

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