WBEZ | High speed rail http://www.wbez.org/tags/high-speed-rail Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en From the archives: LaHood says 'no stopping' high speed rail http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/archives-lahood-says-no-stopping-high-speed-rail-105724 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/high%20speed%20rail%20quinn%20lahood%20AP%20small.jpg" style="height: 460px; width: 620px;" title="Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, left, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, on a high speed rail test run in October of 2012. (AP/Charles Rex Arbogast, file)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F77461272&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that he would <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/transportation-secretary-ray-lahood-leave-administration-105193">leave his post in the Obama administration</a> earlier this week. &quot;I have had a good run,&rdquo; the former Illinois Congressman and Peoria native told the Associated Press. &ldquo;I&#39;m one of these people who believe that you should go out while they&#39;re applauding.&rdquo;</p><p>During his tenure in Washington, LaHood struggled with Congress to pass funding for major infrastructure projects, and eventually compromised with them on a two-year plan, dubbed <a href="http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/">MAP 21</a>, that gave states more flexibility in spending federal dollars. He also brought greater attention to hazards like <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ray-lahood/distracted-driving-a-dead_b_555810.html">distracted driving</a>, and tried to put <a href="http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/03/lahood-policy-statement/">pedestrians and cyclists on equal footing with drivers</a>, earning him accolades from many alternative transportation advocates.</p><p>But one of LaHood&rsquo;s biggest efforts was his promotion of high speed rail. At an urban policy forum held in Chicago in December, LaHood told the audience that &ldquo;every generation does something big for the next generation,&rdquo; and that high speed rail would be our generation&rsquo;s gift to the next.</p><p>In <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/29/ray-lahood-interview-high-speed-rail_n_2576995.html">an exit interview with the <em>Huffington Post</em></a>, LaHood admitted that he felt behind on this quest, but insisted that he and his administration had still &ldquo;come a long way.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;As long as President Obama is in the White House, whoever sits in this chair will have high-speed rail as one of their top priorities,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>You can take a closer listen to LaHood&rsquo;s earlier remarks on high speed rail &ndash; and his insistence at its inevitability &ndash; in the audio above.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a></em>&nbsp;<em>showcases hidden gems unearthed from </em><em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/chicago-amplified/a-conversation-with-u-s"><em>Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s</em></a></em><em> vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Ray LaHood spoke at an event presented at the UIC Urban Forum in December of 2012. He was interviewed by Steve Schlickman, Executive Director of the UIC Urban Transportation Center. Click</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/chicago-amplified/a-conversation-with-u-s">here</a>&nbsp;to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Mon, 25 Feb 2013 10:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/archives-lahood-says-no-stopping-high-speed-rail-105724 From the archives: LaHood says 'no stopping' high speed rail http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/archives-lahood-says-no-stopping-high-speed-rail-105308 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/high%20speed%20rail%20quinn%20lahood%20AP%20small.jpg" style="height: 460px; width: 620px;" title="Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, left, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, on a high speed rail test run in October of 2012. (AP/Charles Rex Arbogast, file)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F77461272&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that he would <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/transportation-secretary-ray-lahood-leave-administration-105193">leave his post in the Obama administration</a> earlier this week. &quot;I have had a good run,&rdquo; the former Illinois Congressman and Peoria native told the Associated Press. &ldquo;I&#39;m one of these people who believe that you should go out while they&#39;re applauding.&rdquo;</p><p>During his tenure in Washington, LaHood struggled with Congress to pass funding for major infrastructure projects, and eventually compromised with them on a two-year plan, dubbed <a href="http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/">MAP 21</a>, that gave states more flexibility in spending federal dollars. He also brought greater attention to hazards like <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ray-lahood/distracted-driving-a-dead_b_555810.html">distracted driving</a>, and tried to put <a href="http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/03/lahood-policy-statement/">pedestrians and cyclists on equal footing with drivers</a>, earning him accolades from many alternative transportation advocates.</p><p>But one of LaHood&rsquo;s biggest efforts was his promotion of high speed rail. At an urban policy forum held in Chicago in December, LaHood told the audience that &ldquo;every generation does something big for the next generation,&rdquo; and that high speed rail would be our generation&rsquo;s gift to the next.</p><p>In <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/29/ray-lahood-interview-high-speed-rail_n_2576995.html">an exit interview with the <em>Huffington Post</em></a>, LaHood admitted that he felt behind on this quest, but insisted that he and his administration had still &ldquo;come a long way.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;As long as President Obama is in the White House, whoever sits in this chair will have high-speed rail as one of their top priorities,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>You can take a closer listen to LaHood&rsquo;s earlier remarks on high speed rail &ndash; and his insistence at its inevitability &ndash; in the audio above.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a></em>&nbsp;<em>showcases hidden gems unearthed from </em><em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/chicago-amplified/a-conversation-with-u-s"><em>Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s</em></a></em><em> vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Ray LaHood spoke at an event presented at the UIC Urban Forum in December of 2012. He was interviewed by Steve Schlickman, Executive Director of the UIC Urban Transportation Center. Click</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/chicago-amplified/a-conversation-with-u-s">here</a>&nbsp;to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Sat, 02 Feb 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/archives-lahood-says-no-stopping-high-speed-rail-105308 Decision clears way for Illinois high-speed rail line http://www.wbez.org/news/decision-clears-way-illinois-high-speed-rail-line-104465 <p><p>WASHINGTON &mdash; The Federal Railroad Administration has taken action that will allow the full build-out of a high-speed rail corridor between Chicago and St. Louis.</p><p>The administration said Tuesday the Rock Island Corridor is the most efficient route between Joliet and Chicago. Officials also chose a route through Springfield that consolidates trains on the city&#39;s 10th Street corridor.</p><p>The decisions were the final step needed for environmental approval of the project.</p><p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn praised the action. He said design and construction work may begin once funding is available.</p><p>The $1.5 billion in improvements to the Illinois line are expected to enable speeds of 110 mph over 70 percent of the route by 2015.</p><p>That is expected to shave about an hour off the journey between Chicago and St. Louis.</p></p> Wed, 19 Dec 2012 08:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/decision-clears-way-illinois-high-speed-rail-line-104465 Illinois to receive influx of money for high-speed rail projects http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-receive-influx-money-high-speed-rail-projects-90143 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/High Speed Rail_Getty _ File.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>"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."</p><p>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.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>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.&nbsp;</p><p>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.</p></p> Thu, 04 Aug 2011 20:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-receive-influx-money-high-speed-rail-projects-90143 Chicago lands millions for high speed rail projects to St. Louis and Detroit http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-lands-millions-high-speed-rail-projects-st-louis-and-detroit-86249 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/archives/images/cityroom/amp_091028_CAF-obama-high-speed-rail-plans_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Monday that it's giving Amtrak $404 million to expand high-speed rail service in the Midwest.&nbsp;</p><p>The dollars will go toward making upgrades along the Chicago-St. Louis corridor and to constructing new segments of 110 mph track between Chicago and Detroit.&nbsp;</p><p>Once completed, the two projects are expected to reduce travel times and improve safety.&nbsp;</p><p>The Chicago-to-Detroit enhancements are expected to shave 30 minutes off of passenger travel times between the two destinations, and the government claims the construction phase of the project will create 1,000 jobs.</p><p>The money was part of $2 billion originally earmarked for high-speed rail links between Tampa and Orlando, Florida.</p><p>But <a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/16/2069844/florida-gov-rick-scott-rejects.html">Florida Governor Rick Scott canceled the project earlier this year</a>, making the money available to be used in other parts of the nation.&nbsp;</p><p>The Department of Transportation targeted rail projects in 15 states to receive the additional funds.&nbsp; 24 states, the District of Columbia and Amtrak had all applied for the dollars.</p><p>The largest share of the money - nearly $800 million - will be used to upgrade train speeds from 135 mph to 160 mph on critical segments of the heavily traveled Northeast corridor.</p><p>"The investments we’re making today will help states across the country create jobs, spur economic development and boost manufacturing in their communities,” said Transporation Secretary Ray LaHood.</p><p>Advocates of high-speed rail are scheduled to go to the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield on May 19th to lobby state officials to support enhanced passenger rail service in the state.<br> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 09 May 2011 15:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-lands-millions-high-speed-rail-projects-st-louis-and-detroit-86249 Illinois faces a lot of competition for high speed rail money http://www.wbez.org/story/florida/illinois-faces-lot-competition-high-speed-rail-money-84838 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-06/High Speed Rail_Getty _ File.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The State of Illinois faces some stiff competition to win some extra cash for high-speed rail projects. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that 23 other states are also competing for the $2.4 billion. The money was supposed to go toward a high-speed rail project in Florida, but that state's governor rejected the money saying the project might be too costly.</p><p>Rick Harnish heads a high-speed rail advocacy group based in Chicago. He said Illinois stands a good chance to win the money from Florida.</p><p>"We really have to figure out very quickly how to move more people without their cars and this is the only way to both reduce fuel consumption and the cost of fuel and actually improve the way people travel in the state," Harnish said.</p><p>Illinois wants to apply $248 million of the Florida money to an existing project linking St. Louis and Chicago. It also filed a joint application with Wisconsin, Michigan and Missouri for $860 million worth of new rail equipment, despite Wisconsin recently turning down money for high-speed rail.</p></p> Thu, 07 Apr 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/florida/illinois-faces-lot-competition-high-speed-rail-money-84838 LaHood talks high-speed rail in Indiana http://www.wbez.org/story/high-speed-rail/lahood-talks-high-speed-rail-indiana <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/High Speed Rail_Getty _ File.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--></p><p class="MsoNormal">United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said Northwest Indiana is poised to be a major player in the development of high-speed rail.</p> <p>LaHood said enthusiasm is high in Indiana for high-speed rail projects because it can bring jobs and money to the state. A line between Chicago and Detroit could have a stop in Northwest Indiana.</p> <p>But in Indiana, Republicans control the Statehouse and the governor&rsquo;s office. Republican governors in other states have turned away billions of dollars&nbsp; from the federal government for high-speed rail projects.</p> <p>LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois, said he doesn&rsquo;t anticipate a problem like that in Indiana.</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of enthusiasm and energy and support for transportation not only in Northwest Indiana but all over the state,&rdquo; LaHood said at a Thursday luncheon at the Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton, Indiana. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m sure those voices will be heard.&rdquo;</p> <p>Some states such as Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida have turned away billions in federal money for high speed rail projects. <br />LaHood says those funds now have to be distributed elsewhere and some of it could end up in Illinois. That&rsquo;s because Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has committed to provide matching funds for high-speed rail projects.</p> <p>LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois 18th district, said the funds might as well go to his home state which is committed to high speed rail.</p> <p>&ldquo;Right now the dominate player, to be honest with you, and I&rsquo;m obviously is very happy about this, is my home state of Illinois because the governor there [Quinn] has stepped up,&rdquo; LaHood said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s why they&rsquo;ve gotten over a billion dollars.&rdquo;</p> <p>LaHood was invited to speak before the pro-business group, the Northwest Indiana Forum. Mark Maassel, president of the Forum, said a high-speed rail stop would work perfectly at the Gary-Chicago International Airport.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think it would be an opportunity to really enhance the flexibility for our transportation system and allow people to move easily,&rdquo; Maassel said.</p> <p>LaHood was joined at the event by U.S. Rep. Peter Visclosky, a Democrat from Northwest Indiana. Visclosky said the federal government&rsquo;s role is to promote job growth. Promoting high speed rail, he said, falls into that.</p> <p>&ldquo;You have to make an investment in transportation. There is a fundamental role of government to create jobs,&rdquo; Visclosky said.&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 25 Feb 2011 01:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/high-speed-rail/lahood-talks-high-speed-rail-indiana Durbin angling for other states' high-speed rail money http://www.wbez.org/story/news/regional/durbin-angling-other-states-high-speed-rail-money <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Durbin-ABK.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says he's angling for stimulus money that's supposed to go to Ohio and Wisconsin.</p><p>The federal government says the money must go toward high-speed rail, but the Republican governors-elect in both states have their own ideas.</p><p>At issue is more than more than $1.2 billion federal stimulus dollars that are supposed to help build a Midwestern high-speed rail network.</p><p>But the two Republican governors-elect - John Kasich, of Ohio, and Scott Walker, of Wisconsin - say, instead, they'll use it for other projects, such as road repair, road construction and working on freight lines.</p><p>That prompted Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Monday to send a letter to both men saying the federal government is plannig to &quot;engage in an orderly transistion to wind down&quot; their involvement with the program if they don't reconsider.</p><p>Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in his chamber, said Thursday he'll work to bring it to Illinois.</p><p>&quot;If Wisconsin doesn't want it, if Ohio doesn't want it, we have plenty of opportunities here for high-speed rail,&quot; Durbin said. &quot;They'll regret it. In the years to come, when we have this infrastructure that's gonna serve us for generations, they'll understand how shortsighted [their decision] was.&quot;</p><p>Durbin says, if the money's re-allocated, it could help expand Amtrak service.</p><p>Meanwhile, Wisconsin governor-elect Scott Walker says he's exploring legal options to re-direct the money.</p></p> Thu, 11 Nov 2010 19:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/regional/durbin-angling-other-states-high-speed-rail-money