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."