Tuesday, July 27, 2010

HSR construction: Chicago to St. Louis

From Gov. Quinn's newsletter:
On July 20, Governor Quinn was joined by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin to announce that construction would begin in early September on the Chicago to St. Louis high-speed rail route. This project will support more than 900 jobs in Illinois and make Illinois the high-speed rail hub of the United States. This $98 million dollar project is federally funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus) and is part of the $8 billion allocated for high-speed rail. When completed, it is estimated that the total amount of time it takes to travel between Chicago and St. Louis will be less than four hours.

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Madison Wisconsin Amtrak station Q and A with Governor Doyle and Mayor Cieslewicz

Very exciting news in Wisconsin to expand Amtrak service between Madison and Wisconsin (as a fundamental piece of the Minneapolis-St. Paul - Madison - Milwaukee - Chicago high speed rail line) as the site for the train station in Madison has been chosen right downtown at the Department of Administration building.

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle and Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz took questions from reporters from the rooftop of the building that will host the train station a week ago, and thanks to Learfield News for grabbing this eight minute feed of the discussion between the two high speed rail leaders and the press.

The Madison-Milwaukee line is a very exciting project as it helps bring the entire Midwest high speed rail network into reality. Like any network, the more spokes there are, the stronger the entire network becomes, so adding in Madison-Milwaukee to the Midwestern Amtrak network will grow ridership for the entire system. And that will reduce our oil consumption, increase our mobility, reduce our traffic congestion. And each of those things will make us wealthier. That's a higher standard of living for all of us. Great news!

When these trains are running between Madison and Milwaukee (and we're still shooting for 2011, according to Governor Doyle), I can't wait to take one. It is not fun to get between Madison and Chicago with a three hour drive. I predict a large amount of traffic between Chicago and Madison on the train.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Crude Awakening: Art photos of oil in the water in Lake Michigan from Jane Fulton Alt

It's hard to imagine oil in the water destroying beaches. Everyone around the Gulf of Mexico is either living with that today or very fearful that their beach may be next.

The Chicago Tribune featured this photo montage from photographer Jane Fulton Alt, imagining what oil in Lake Michigan could do. It's below.

Part of the solution is electric-powered transportation, and building high speed rail is a major part of that solution. Spread the word. And tell Congress to spend $4 billion on it next year: www.FourBillion.com