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Senator Durbin says super-high-speed rail is too expensive

(The following story by Alex Keefe appeared on the Chicago Public Radio website on August 10, 2009.)

CHICAGO — Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says bringing super-high-speed rail to the Midwest is unrealistic for the time being.

Illinois is competing for $8 billion in stimulus money to help build a network of 110-mph trains.

But some advocates say the state should invest in trains that go twice as fast.

Durbin says that would require a "massive investment."

DURBIN: If we get up to 110 mph, trust me, people will take note of it. They're already filling passenger rail trains, and I think even more [people] will [ride], if we can cut the travel times dramatically.

Durbin says the trains being considered can share existing rails used for freight traffic.

But he says faster trains would require their own tracks.

Some people have criticized the Midwest's plan for not embracing super-fast trains, like those in Japan and Europe.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

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