Studies and White Papers

What if there were a way to significantly reduce delays occurring at our most congested airports—the kinds of delays that cost air travelers nationwide more than $3 billion annually and our economy more than $40 billion? What if we could meet the growing demand for air travel—and meet the demand with ease—while creating jobs and strengthening ournation’s ability to compete globally?

This paper addresses the initial investment and on-going cost of operation and maintenance of high- performance passenger rail (HPPR) in four of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) sanctioned HPPR regional networks Northeast, Chicago Hub, California, and Northwest over a 40 year period. The system can generate a net benefit of at least $660 million annually. If the nation should forgo this opportunity, it stands to sustain a cost of at least $26.4 billion in foregone economic benefits over the next four decades.

The Federal Railroad Administration’s market-based approach reflects the differing needs and characteristics of corridors throughout the nation through a three-tiered passenger rail strategy.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of Americans are likely to use high-speed trains - 35% are Very Likely to use and another 27% are Somewhat Likely to use. Cost, time and convenience will be important considerations for many Americans in their decision to travel by a high-speed train.

This report is the summary of extensive research that examined the criticism that has been leveled over the past three years at the national efforts to improve intercity passenger rail and introduce true high-speed passenger rail in the United States.

This document continues the series of technical reports describing the identification, definition, and evaluation of alternative transportation improvements in the STAR Line corridor in northeastern Illinois. The previous documents in this series defined and screened an extensive inventory of potential modes and technologies, to identify those feasible to consider as conceptual alternatives.

Chicago is continually making infrastructure enhancements that support its status as a world-class city. Through an innovative arrangement with private sector partners, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has an immediate opportunity to contribute to these efforts through the establishment of high-quality, direct airport train service (Direct Service) between downtown and O’Hare and Midway Airports. Key to this opportunity are CTA’s agreements with The Mills Corporation and the City of Chicago, in which a private developer and the City are contributing a substantial share of the cost of a new downtown station that will anchor the airport train service.

The Northern Illinois Commuter Rail Initiative (NICRI) studies the feasibility of extending commuter service from Chicago to Rockford.

The Governor and IDOT have sought to further develop this[the U.S. DOT's 2009 vision] high-speed rail vision and are now analyzing whether 220 mph high speed rail service is feasible from O’Hare Airport through downtown Chicago to Champaign-Urbana and on to St. Louis and/or Indianapolis. Governor Quinn selected this corridor for study as part of his vision to more closely connect the University of Illinois to Chicago and link three of this region’s key cities with safe, comfortable, state-of-the- art, very-high-speed rail transportation to help Midwestern economic development. This process is part of an incremental approach that has been successfully used in many countries around the world.

The Governor and IDOT have sought to further develop this[the U.S. DOT's 2009 vision] high-speed rail vision and are now analyzing whether 220 mph high speed rail service is feasible from O’Hare Airport through downtown Chicago to Champaign-Urbana and on to St. Louis and/or Indianapolis. Governor Quinn selected this corridor for study as part of his vision to more closely connect the University of Illinois to Chicago and link three of this region’s key cities with safe, comfortable, state-of-the- art, very-high-speed rail transportation to help Midwestern economic development. This process is part of an incremental approach that has been successfully used in many countries around the world.

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