High speed rail could be coming to Peoria

By WEEK Producer

January 27, 2013 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 1:20 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Local and national leaders are working towards expanding high speed rail to Peoria.

The Amtrak station in Normal is the busiest in Illinois outside of Chicago.

According to the Economic Development Council of Central Illinois, more than 7,500 people commute daily between the Twin Cities and the Peoria area.

Peoria mayor Jim Ardis and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood agree adding high speed rail in Peoria would be beneficial.

"Potential customers between the universities," said Ardis. "With Bradley, Illinois State, Illinois Wesleyan, and also the big employers. We have Cat, for the most part over here. But we also have Mitsubishi. We have State Farm. We have Country Companies. There's just a lot of people that travel back and forth."

"It would be a mode of transportation that currently does not exist," said LaHood. "And it would be an opportunity to really connect the region."

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin also joined the discussion with Mayor Ardis last week, adding that connecting Peoria to the high speed rail system would be an investment for Central Illinois.

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