There was some good media coverage last week out of St. Louis about the Illinois DOT reaching an agreement with Union Pacific on implementing high-speed rail between Chicago - St. Louis. This is good for Missouri's St. Louis - Kansas City service because as their service gets faster and more reliable, it will mean better connections for Missouri riders and more pressure to improve our service. One thing to keep in mind is that the St. Louis - Chicago line has less freight train volume (5-10 trains / day) than our St. Louis - Kansas City line (50-60 trains / day). MoDOT has been a planning partner with Illinois DOT and seven other Mid-western states since 1996 on the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, which provides a template for all improvements being discussed. Illinois's news is good, we wish them well, and will be hopefully following closely behind!
Brian Weiler, MoDOT Multimodal Director