Our Achievements

The Midwest High Speed Rail Association works to jump-start efforts for high-speed rail.

Here are some of our recent accomplishments:

  • Rounding up Resources for Rail: Thanks in part to our research, policy recommendations and advocacy, in 2012, the Illinois legislature gave the Illinois Toll Highway Authority the power to design and construct high-speed and other railroad tracks.
  • Rallying for the St. Louis-Chicago Line: As the loudest and clearest voice for the development of a Chicago-to-St. Louis high speed rail line, we were proud to play a role in the current efforts to modernize the existing Amtrak/Union Pacific route. Recently, we conducted the first benefit study of a new 220-mph line. That research is widely cited as a key driver in jump-starting a state-sponsored feasibility study.
  • Organizing to Protect Local Transit: We spearheaded the grassroots Save Chicagoland Transit Campaign in 2007, generating more than 100,000 emails to Illinois legislators to protest cuts to local rail transit. That effort convinced Illinois’ governor to increase funding.
  • Providing the Research: We’ve conducted the groundbreaking impact studies on high speed rail lines between Chicago and seven major midwestern cities. Countless government leaders and agencies, railroad companies and other advocacy groups and leaders in the field have used our research to make informed policy decisions on the future of Midwestern rail.
Executive Director Richard Harnish and Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn
Executive Director Richard Harnish and former Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn