Chicago Green Jobs

Event: High Speed Rail in the Midwest
March 18, 2009, 3:13 am
Filed under: Event

As you will no doubt recall, Obama wedged $8+ billion for high speed rail projects into the stimulus bill. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, is on the hook to provide a plan for spending that cash by next month. Fortunately, even though high speed rail went out of fashion in the US before my parents were born there are no fewer than eleven proposals vying for a piece of the pie.

The good news for Chicago? According to the USA Today, “Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio are pitching a high-speed rail network linking Chicago to big cities in those states, including Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Detroit — trips that could be made within a couple of hours. “They’ve got the data to back up the pitch: the Amtrak hub in Chicago reported a 25% increase in ridership on the trains sponsored by the Wisconsin and Illinois state DOTs last year. Ridership is also up by double digit percentages between Chicago and St. Louis.

To get up to the minute information about how Chicago’s angling to corner the high speed rail stimulus money, I’d suggest registering for the Midwest High Speed Rail Association Annual meeting which is being held this Saturday, March 21, from 9am – 3pm. Here’s the event summary:

The country has taken a new direction in transportation policy by committing $9.3 billion towards intercity and high-speed train development.  Please join us for a discussion on what it will mean for the Midwest.

The agenda looks solid – lots of people who know what they are talking about. You’ll get an overview of California’s rail plans, which will be hugely helpful in terms of figuring out ways to cut their bid for the stimulus cash off at the knees. You’ll also hear from Amtrak about Chicago’s plans and from the association executive director about the plans for 2009.

It looks to be a good meeting for policy wonks, rail specialists, and managers from companies that could benefit from rail expansion in the Chicagoland area. Registration is $55 and they’ll feed you lunch.


2 Comments so far
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Don’t forget the railroad fetishists. They’ll be all over this.

Comment by Jonathan Eyler-Werve

My husband: he’ll be here all week! Don’t forget to tip your waitress, folks!

Comment by Kate Eyler-Werve

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