Rails to Prosperity:
Almost any business trip will involve travel by car, air, and mass transportation. (Drive to an airport, fly to a destination, then ride in a cab to a hotel) Our existing passenger transportation system is not an integrated system. Train depots are located in the old sections of our cities. Links between train stations and airports often do not exist or are not adequate. We no longer need trains to travel from California to Illinois. We need quick links from the Peoria airport to O’Hare airport. There are many flights to California from O’Hare that are much shorter in duration than the 51.5 hours of the California Zephyr. How many hours are wasted in Peoria or Moline waiting to board the puddle jumpers to O’Hare? PIA travelers have longer waits for luggage than the actual flight time. High-speed rail from regional airport to hub would allow fuel efficiency, fewer delays, and improved security. Integrated links to downtowns and other important destinations would totally transform the economy of a city like Peoria. Peoria could grow to once again be Illinois’ second city like it was for over a hundred years.
Peoria and Illinois have all the pieces.
The puzzle pieces are government, manufacturing expertise, engineering knowledge, and a practical ability to solve problems. Our country needs to start a system that like the Interstate Highway System will not be completed for decades, but will transform our society. Our government both federal and state support high-speed rail. The governments already have the Interstate right of ways to use in adding rails between O’Hare and Peoria. Using the existing Interstate right of ways means we could also develop this project in conjunction with the Quad Cities. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is a Peoria resident, Governor Pat Quinn supports high-speed rail, and other states are refusing federal money.