Chicago – St. Louis

  • The Chicago to St. Louis line is part of the designated Chicago Hub Network, which includes other spokes to Milwaukee/Twin Cities, Detroit, Cleveland, and Cincinnati/Louisville.
  • The Chicago, IL to St. Louis, MO Corridor is 284 miles long and has distinct line configuration/ ownership arrangements by section.
  • Improvements will be made to track, signal systems, and existing stations.
  • The project will also fund the implementation of positive train control technology.
  • The track renewal construction is scheduled for completion in late summer 2011.
  • Upgrades will allow rail service to operate at speeds of up to 110 mph.
  • Amtrak is existing operator.
  • Future vision includes the full build out of an additional second track. 
  • An EIS was completed almost 10 years ago for Chicago–St. Louis.
  • The Preferred Alternative from the EIS included the provision of HSR service, 110 mph, along the existing Chicago to St. Louis route south of Dwight, IL.
  • A Record of Decision was signed in Jan 2004.
  • In Oct 2009, IDOT submitted an Environmental Assessment (EA)  but an additional level of assessment, Tier 1 EIS, must be completed before IDOT can apply for additional funding for the full build out of a second mainline track. 


  • In Jan 2010, Illinois received $1.2B ARRA funding for corridor improvements between Dwight and St. Louis.
  • Illinois also received $1.25M to fund the completion of the EIS for the full build out from Chicago to St. Louis
  • Additionally, the Illinois Capitol Bill has appropriated $400M for high speed rail.
  • On April 4, 2011, IDOT submitted applications to the FRA for additional HSIPR Program funding seeking $186.4M in federal funds, with a state match of $42.4M and a railroad match of $19.7M, for additional track, rail sidings, signaling and crossing upgrades on the Chicago-to-St. Louis route; and $800,000 in federal funds, with a $200,000 state matching grant, to conduct planning for a station in East St. Louis.
  • On May 9, 2011, the Midwest received $186.3M to construct upgrades on the Chicago – St. Louis Corridor between Dwight and Joliet, IL with trains operating at 110 mph for more than 220 miles of track.
  • On August 3rd, 2011, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood granted the Midwest states (Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri) $268m for the purchase of 7 American-made locomotives and 48 bi-level rail cars. 


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