Durbin Statement on Springfield Rail Agreement

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after learning that the Illinois Department of Transportation, the City of Springfield and Sangamon County have come to an agreement on how to move forward with high speed rail in Springfield.


“I commend Mayor Davlin, Chairman Van Meter and Secretary Hannig for working tirelessly over the past few months to reach today’s agreement. Finding a solution was not easy, but by bringing all the players together day after day, we now have a plan that will allow the state’s high speed rail application to move forward as planned while working toward a long-term solution that would benefit Springfield residents.


“Since President Obama announced his vision for high speed rail in America, we have brought together federal, state and local officials from across the Midwest in support of the Chicago Hub Network. If the Chicago to St. Louis route is chosen as a recipient of federal stimulus funding for high speed rail, the entire state – including our capitol city – will benefit from a significant increase in economic activity; the creation of thousands of good-paying jobs in the region; and a faster, reliable alternative mode of transportation. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to bring high speed rail to Illinois.”


In September, Durbin announced the approval of his amendment allowing the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to provide technical and financial assistance to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and local officials for a feasibility study of the Tenth Street corridor as a route for consolidated freight and passenger rail operations in Springfield, Illinois. The amendment is currently part of the FY2010 Omnibus Appropriations Act.