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Maintenance costs key in Illinois high speed rail negotiations

(The following appeared on the State Journal-Register website on March 5, 2011.)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Backers of high-speed rail say don’t worry: Maintenance costs for improved train trackage between St. Louis and Chicago will be minimal.

But skeptics say maintenance costs could prove expensive for state taxpayers.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is negotiating with the Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the track between the two cities, to determine how much the state should pay. Under an agreement with the railroad signed in December, the state must pay for all maintenance needed to allow trains to travel at 110 mph. The maximum speed now is 79 mph.

The full story appears at www.sj-r.com.

Monday, March 7, 2011

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