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Union Pacific, Illinois strike agreement on fast trains

Published: July 21, 2010
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Union Pacific Railroad has struck an agreement with Illinois officials on a high speed rail corridor between Chicago and St. Louis, Bloomberg News has reported. The agreement hints an impasse between the major U.S. railroads and the Federal Railroad Administration over federal guidelines for fast-train agreements may be broken.

Under the Illinois-UP agreement, work is to begin in September on raising speeds between Dwight and Alton, Ill., to as high as 110 mph. Illinois and Missouri were to receive $1.13 billion, most of which was to go toward raising speeds on the already successful Chicago-St. Louis corridor.

The agreement comes as a surprise because the FRA had issued guidelines for fast-train agreements between railroads and states that the industry felt were unacceptable. UP CEO Jim Young said in May the guidelines had led the railroad to "basically stop" the project. Plans had called for BNSF to negotiate a pilot agreement with Washington State that would serve as a model for other agreements.

UP spokesman Mark Davis tells TRAINS News Wire, "I understand that the FRA is in the process of reviewing the guidelines and that it may be later this year before the railroads see those revised guidelines."
TRAINS special coverage: High speed rail 2010
TrainsMag.com's special section, "High Speed Rail 2010," includes the latest news about the funding, a breakdown of the requests by categories and by state, and offer continuing coverage of the announcement and projects as they unfold.

This and all other stories about the high speed rail funding will be available to everyone from Trains News Wire, a section typically reserved for Trains magazine subscribers. We update News Wire daily with the latest stories from throughout the national and international rail industry. To enjoy continuous access to News Wire and other online benefits of TrainsMag.com, subscribe today!
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