Springfield -- The Illinois Department of Transportation says about $1.45 billion in contracts have been awarded so far for high-speed rail construction.
The work on the project is in its fourth season. Most of the current construction focuses on sidings and design of an automated control system.
Authorities hope to have high-speed rail service between St. Louis and Chicago up and running in 2015. Trains would be able to travel up to 110 miles per hour along most of the route.
About half the money that's been awarded so far has been for rail and structural upgrades. Another $211 million is being used for cars and equipment.
Officials still hope to get more federal money for the project, including help expanding the capacity of Chicago's Union Station.
Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted people of other religions. More>>
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