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Positive Train Control adds to cost of Illinois high speed rail improvements

(The following appeared on the State Journal-Register website on March 14, 2011.)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The cost of proposed improvements to the Union Pacific rail line between St. Louis and Chicago has quadrupled since 2003, partly because an expensive collision avoidance system has been added to the project.

A state-funded environmental impact statement pegged the price at between $286 million and $300 million in 2003. The price tag now is more than $1.2 billion, with $60 million projected to come from the state and the balance from federal economic stimulus funds.

The cost of materials has increased since 2003, state transportation officials say, and the current project also includes improvements to stations and costlier gates to prevent car-train accidents than envisioned eight years ago.

However, another cost is a train collision avoidance system called positive train control.

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

Monday, March 14, 2011

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