The State of Illinois is getting a boost of funds for its high-speed rail projects. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced that Illinois is one of five states receiving more than $336 million to buy next-generation trains.
Guy Trigdell, spokesman with the Illinois Department of Transportation, said it hasn't been announced yet how much of the money will go to Illinois.
"We're one of the states that will be expanding high-speed rail. We are the hub of the midwest for a system of trains that will be radiating out of Chicago," said Trigdell. "Our signature line is Chicago to St. Louis."
According to Trigdell, the money will go to purchase seven new trains with 48 cars. He said the Chicago to St. Louis line is expected to be up and running by 2014.
Additionally, "States will be working together to identify a uniformed set of standards and develop some consistent specifications for all passenger trains that will be used," said Trigdell.
Transportation officials say President Barack Obama's administration has kicked in more than $10 billion to lay the groundwork for Illinois and other states to develop higher speed rail networks.