Tuesday, June 29, 2010

HSR planning surges!

Yesterday, June 28th, the FRA announced that it will begin accepting applications for $2.1 billion in grants to continue the development of high-speed intercity passenger rail corridors. In addition, $245 million will be available for individual construction projects within corridors. Grant awards for the $2.1 billion and $245 million from the FY2010 DOT appropriations, are expected to be announced by September 30, 2010.

Keep in mind that the report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors projects HSR to benefit Chicago to the tune of up to $6.1 billion per year in new business and up to 42,000 jobs.


Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a packed seminar for High Speed Rail in Chicago, which was sponsored by the Japan International Transport Institute and held at the Union League Club of Chicago. Our own Rick Harnish was among the keynote speakers. The large number of attendees at the seminar, coupled with the FRA funding announcements and the eagerness of countries with HSR to work with the Midwest, and the entire U.S. for that matter, are all signs of a rapidly approaching HSR reality for our region and our country.

Below: IDOT Secretary Gary Hannig addresses the crowd.

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