Chicago-St Louis high-speed rail plans speeding up - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Chicago-St Louis high-speed rail plans speeding up

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Federal transportation regulators are moving faster than expected on choosing the best route for a section of the Chicago-St. Louis high-speed rail line running through the Illinois state capital.

A spokesman for the Federal Railroad Administration, Michael England, says the agency has received a state environmental analysis for the rail corridor. It includes proposals for 11 alternative routes for rail traffic through Springfield.

Public hearings are expected in May or June, and a route could be selected as early as November.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reported Friday (http://bit.ly/ycTxSC) that the proposal favored by local officials would consolidate freight and passenger trains on the city's 10th Street corridor. One study estimates the cost of the moving the route at $318 million and suggests most of that could come from federal funds.

Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com

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