220 MPH High Speed Rail in the Midwest

In 2011 and 2012, the High Speed Rail Alliance (then Midwest High Speed Rail Association) commissioned studies to better understand the benefits and costs of a high-speed rail network hubbed in Chicago.

As the world’s fifth-largest economy (at $2.6 trillion and approximately equal to France), the region possesses a diverse manufacturing, agricultural, and business-services base anchored by nine major metropolitan areas.

220-mph bullet trains would have a transformative impact, by unifying the Midwest and solidifying its future position as one of the world’s most powerful economic mega-regions.

The Infrastructure
  • Trains would operate at 220 mph on dedicated track with no grade crossings
  • Each track would have capacity for 10 trains an hour
  • At least 25 daily departures in each direction on all four lines
  • Trains would seat 550-1,100 passengers each
The Results
  • 43 million annual riders from 13 cities and major metropolitan areas
  • More than $2.2 billion annually in user-generated revenues
  • $13.8 billion per year increase in business sales for the Chicago Metro area alone
Job Creation
  • Nearly 70,000 jobs per year for over a decade related to construction
  • Over 4,000 permanent operations and maintenance jobs
  • Nearly 130,000 permanent jobs as a result of the economic growth
Environmental Impacts
  • Over 3 million tons of CO2e saved per year
  • Reduced water pollution
  • Improved land use
Foundation for an Integrated Network

These 220-mph trains would catalyze a regionwide integrated network of high-speed rail, conventional trains, and local transit.

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