CHICAGO (AP) -- Illinois
and the federal government have approved an environmental impact statement for
the high-speed rail line under construction between Chicago
and St. Louis.
The review is an important step because it identifies a route through Springfield that would
end a dispute that had threatened to hold up the project.
It also recommends a route around some of the congested tangle of rail
lines between Chicago and suburban Joliet. Upgrades to that suggested corridor
would be $500 million cheaper than the existing route because fewer overpasses
would be needed.
The assessment also clears the way for possibly building a dedicated
line in the future so passenger trains wouldn't have to share track with
Upgrades for 110-mph service over most of the line should be finished by