One year ago, the entire Illinois Congressional delegation wrote to LaHood to communicate their belief that Illinois provides the best opportunity to invest in high speed rail. Since then, the Department of Transportation has awarded over $1.4 billion in high speed rail funding to Illinois, including funding for the CREATE project, new rail service from Chicago to the Quad Cities and implementing 110 mph service on the Chicago to St. Louis line. Last December, Illinois received $42.3 million in high speed rail funding that was rejected by the governors of Ohio and Wisconsin.
In 2009, Durbin, Kirk and all members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation asked the Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, to support their effort to revive the passenger rail car manufacturing industry in Illinois. The domestic railcar giant Pullman Company provided a strong manufacturing base for over a hundred years in Illinois, providing rail cars that are still on the tracks today. But those companies have long since closed their doors and left the business of making passenger rail cars, due in part, to years of underinvestment in the U.S. and increased investment by European countries.
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