Core Express - 125 mph and above
The backbone of the Midwest passenger rail network should be four Core Express routes linking Cleveland/Detroit, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Minneapolis-St. Paul to Chicago. These would be newly-constructed, electrified lines separated from the freight network with no highway crossings.
This core network would offer two-to-three-hour travel times between major Midwestern cities and Chicago, with 25 daily departures on each route in each direction.
The system would serve nearly 44 million annual riders. It would cost roughly $84 billion to build and generate approximately $2.2 billion in annual revenue.
The economic impact of the 220-mph network on Chicago alone would be staggering, creating tens of thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in business opportunities that will support and enhance the Chicago metropolitan area’s global competitiveness.