© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Nixon, Quinn join 6 other Midwest governors in backing high-speed rail

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 28, 2009 - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and seven other Midwest governors have signed an agreement underscoring their commitment to develop a high-speed rail network.

All have signed a "Memorandum of Understanding," along with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, that calls for all "to work together in pursuing (federal) Recovery Act funds to develop high-speed rail corridors," Nixon's announcement says.

The Chicago-St. Louis leg gets top priority, with the St. Louis-Kansas City line coming later.

Nixon and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn -- who also signed the memorandum --previously have announced their joint effort to snag some of the $8 billion available for high-speed rail in the federal stimulus measure.

The proposed Midwest network would use Chicago as the hub for a series of lines that would connect major cities throughout the region. "One of the first priorities of the group is to develop a high-speed rail corridor between Chicago and St. Louis," Nixon's release says, "with a second group of projects that would include the corridor from St. Louis to Kansas City."

“The development of high-speed rail on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor holds the prospect of immediate jobs and a surge in economic development, as well as greatly improved travel time,” Nixon said in a statement. “Missouri and our partner states in the Midwest have been laying the groundwork for high-speed rail for more than a decade, and it is exciting to know that the President shares this priority with us.”

"The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Governors and Mayor Daley is designed to coordinate each state’s individual applications to the Federal Railroad Administration for ARRA funding to develop the Midwest corridor,'' Nixon's announcement says. "The other states besides Missouri include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin."

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.