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Study: Midwest high-speed rail could bring billions in benefits

(The Midwest High Speed Rail Association and Siemens Corp. issued the following on April 28, 2011.)

CHICAGO — A high speed rail system serving all major metropolitan areas within 350-450 miles of Chicago could result in significant ridership, economic development and job creation. The Midwest High Speed Rail Association today released a study titled "The Economic Impacts of High Speed Rail: Transforming the Midwest," with Siemens, who sponsored the study and research partners AECOM and the Economic Development Research Group (EDRG).

The study demonstrates both the feasibility and the tremendous promise for this network:

• An estimated 43 million annual riders from 13 cities and major metropolitan areas
• More than $2.2 billion annually in user-generated revenues
• 25 daily departures on each of the four corridors
• Capacity for up to 10 trains in peak hours on each corridor
• 2-3 hour travel times between Chicago and the furthest points of the network
• 104,000 new jobs and an additional $5.5 billion in wages each year in the Chicago Metro area resulting from increased economic development
• $13.8 billion per year increase in business sales for the Chicago Metro area alone

"We believe that a high speed rail system will unify the Midwest and solidify its future position as one the world's most powerful economies," said Richard Harnish, executive director, Midwest High Speed Rail Association. "The economic impact of the 220-mph network on the Midwest would be staggering. In the Chicago area alone, it would create thousands of new jobs and business opportunities that will support and enhance the Chicago metropolitan area's global competitiveness."

AECOM and EDRG researched a system that would serve all major metropolitan areas within 350 to 450 miles of Chicago. This region would be served by a four-spoke network, with Chicago at the center of corridors connecting to Cleveland/Detroit, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Trains would operate at 220-mph on dedicated track with no grade crossings.

"As a world leader in rail technology, Siemens has seen first hand the positive impact high speed rail has had on communities around the world," said Oliver Hauck, president, Mobility Division, Siemens Industry, Inc. "The new jobs added in the Chicago Metro Area alone as a result of a high speed rail network and transit oriented development represent $118 billion in wages over 30 years, and the new business sales generated are estimated to be almost $300 billion over 30 years."

A high speed rail system could considerably enhance economic activity in the rest of the region and enable the Midwest to remain a strong global player. The Midwest High Speed Rail Association is sharing these initial findings today at the National Association of Counties Rail Conference in Lisle, Ill. The purpose of this study is to provide a roadmap for implementing high speed rail in the Midwest. It describes the steps needed to make this vision a reality and the potential economic benefits for each of the other cities on the system and the region as a whole -- while illustrating how high-speed rail could help to transform economies of the Midwest.

To read more about this study please go to MidwestHSR.org.

Midwest High Speed Rail Association

The Midwest High Speed Rail Association is a Chicago-based member-supported non-profit organization advocating for fast, frequent and dependable trains linking the entire Midwest. Our diverse membership base includes nearly 2,000 individuals, local governments, and corporations. Our goal is to persuade local, state and federal governments to implement an aggressive railroad expansion and provide on-going operational support for fast trains throughout the Midwest.

Siemens Corp.

Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG (NYSE: SI), a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, operating in the industry, energy and healthcare sectors. For more than 160 years, Siemens has built a reputation for leading-edge innovation and the quality of its products, services and solutions. With 405,000 employees in 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $102.9 billion in fiscal 2010. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $19.9 billion and employs approximately 62,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico. For more information on Siemens in the United States, visit www.usa.siemens.com.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

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