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Thursday, January 28, 2010

How Might High-Speed Rail to Chicago Help the Cardinals?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 2:51 PM

"It's going to make it super-easy to get Cardinals fans to Wrigley Field to watch the Cardinals win," Governor Jay Nixon gushed earlier today, as he enumerated one of the hidden benefits of the White House plan to create a high-speed rail corridor between St. Louis and Chicago.

Nixon's tongue-in-cheek remark was all part of a celebratory press conference at the downtown Amtrak station where state and local officials assembled for a lunch-time victory dance.

An Amtrak train at the St. Louis station on Thursday waits for passengers. High-speed rail lines will be added to accomodate travelers for trips between St. Louis and Chicago.
  • An Amtrak train at the St. Louis station on Thursday waits for passengers. High-speed rail lines will be added to accomodate travelers for trips between St. Louis and Chicago.
Positively giddy by the announcement to award $1.1 billion in stimulus money for three daily round trips to the Windy City -- and at speeds up to 110 miles per hour -- Nixon called it an "extraordinary moment" for St. Louis, a "transformative step" toward vastly improving the region's transportation system.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon Thursday. Nixon joked the planned high-speed rail line between St. Louis and Chicago would be a boon for Cardinals fans who want to travel to Chicago to see their team beat the Cubs.
  • Missouri Governor Jay Nixon Thursday. Nixon joked the planned high-speed rail line between St. Louis and Chicago would be a boon for Cardinals fans who want to travel to Chicago to see their team beat the Cubs.
"It's a good day for the Midwest, a great day for St. Louis," said Nixon.

The billion-plus subsidy is part of White House plans to earmark some $8 billion to fund 13 large-scale, high-speed routes across the nation.

Also, Missouri will receive $31 million for eight other projects to improve service and raise speeds on the St. Louis-to-Kansas City run.

"This is the exact kind of investment that we saw in building the interstate highway system" said Edward Montgomery, White House executive director for auto communities and workers, "It will create jobs upfront, but it will also spur economic development for decades to come."

Rep. Russ Carnahan on Thursday in St. Louis.
  • Rep. Russ Carnahan on Thursday in St. Louis.

Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the high-speed rail link, in particular, will go along in making a serious down payment on Missouri's economic future.

During a question and answer session, Montgomery said he could not say how many jobs the rail project will create, nor could he provide any kind of timeline as to how long it might take to build.

Said Montgomery, "We want to move as quickly as possible."

Cardinals fans looking to to get to Wrigley, heartily agree.


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