A budget crisis doesn't mean the state halts planning for the future. Take trains for instance. The State Transportation Department is holding a public meeting in Peoria this afternoon on what an Illinois rail plan might look like. Rick Harnish, the Director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association says new policy should encourage development of rail service between the Quad Cities and Champaign through Galesburg, Peoria, and Normal, because there is substantial highway commuting among those cities.
Harnish also says three hour high speed service between Chicago and Saint Louis is a good goal. That would be even faster than the 110MPH service that is currently under construction. Harnish says fulfillment of policy depends on political will. But there are economic benefits to mass transit.
Harnish notes Turkey has gone from little passenger service to high speed rail in two years.
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