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Connecting America's Mega Regions

April 28, 2016

In recent weeks New York Times ran a thought provoking Op-Ed piece about reorganizing our infrastructure investments around America’s seven mega regions. This would involve a renewed focus on regional planning in order to increase the connectivity of our mega regions.

The article begins with a map of the United States and identifies the mega regions, urban corridors, current railways and proposed high-speed rail. This visual takes away the state boundaries and shows how we can connect our urban corridors through high-speed rail.

This sort of project requires regional planning that is often lacking in our current governmental organizations. We are used to investing money and resources state by state that we miss opportunities to think about projects that would have benefits across multiple state lines. Federal policy should focus on providing regions with the resources to grow and prosper, and states should focus on working together for their mutual benefit.

The Midwest, or Great Lakes as labeled in the article, has one of the largest urban corridors in the country, which stretches from Missouri to Pennsylvania and from Wisconsin to Kentucky. Increasing the connectivity in this region would not only create stronger connections between the major cities but would connect areas with higher unemployment to job rich areas.


Dylan Hayward
Program Manager

Last Week at MHSRA:

The U.S. Senate Appropriation THUD Committee has passed their transportation budget with $1.7 billion for passenger rail. The funding levels remain the same as we wrote about last week and the restrictions to the CRISI program remains. With your continued support we will urge Congress to appropriate money for the  broad range of projects authorized when the bill goes to the floor.
We attended Fermilab’s Earth Day Fair and discussed the environmental benefits of investing in a Midwest High Speed Rail Network.

Check out some videos from our Annual Spring Meeting on our youtube channel!

Articles We Enjoyed:

A New Map For America
"A Midwestern high-speed rail network...would not just link wealthy investment would make it easier for workers to commute to where the jobs are."

Rauner is Lobbied on Chicago-to-Quad Cities Amtrak Service
"U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos is asking Gov. Bruce Rauner to release previously approved state funding for a Chicago-to-Quad Cities Amtrak line."

What Could Chicagoans Learn About Rail Transportation From a Trip to Japan?
"The Midwest High Speed Rail Association is hosting train-focused tour of Japan that should offer Chicago residents a fascinating window on what’s like to live with truly world-class transit and railroad service."

MIPRC Survey Finds Good News, Growth Potential for Passenger Rail
A recent study by the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission shows how critical of a resource intercity passenger rail is for college student.

Via Rail Ready to Roll out Plan for Faster Service along Quebec-Ontario Route
"Via Rail is proposing a $4-billion plan that would allow passenger trains in the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto corridor to run on dedicated tracks, which it says would allow for faster and more frequent service."

How the Denver-to-DIA Train, Opening Friday, will Change the Metro Area Forever
"Denver joins fewer than 20 cities in the United States — among them Seattle, Salt Lake City and Minneapolis — with a train to the airport. But Denver's line has advantages over most of the others"

Upcoming Events:

Japan High-Speed Rail Tour

Join us this September to discover how Japan’s high speed network relates to the future of high speed rail in the United States. We will ride the world’s first high speed line, Japans newest and fastest high speed trains and enjoy the sights in Tokyo and Kyoto.

Call the Society of International Railway Travelers at 800-478-4881 to reserve your spot.

Please click here to learn more about the trip

Train Day Events

St. Paul Union Depot Train Day

Enjoy a fun and educational experience as we highlight the history and future of passenger train travel, the historic and current role of freight railroads in our region, and changing transportation trends and needs. All will enjoy a wide variety of free transportation-inspired activities. The weekend will include train equipment, musical entertainment, special events and activities for all ages.

When: Saturday, April 30, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 1, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Where: St. Paul Union Depot

Cost: Entry is free but there are some ticketed events.

Toledo Train Day

Take the opportunity to tour the Amtrak Exhibit Train and hear from local, state and national leaders speaking about the importance of rail. The event also features rail travel info, model trains, rail art, informational exhibits, kid train ride, food, prizes and drawings for train trips. Make sure to visit our booth if you make it there!

When: Saturday, May 7,  9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Where: 415 Emerald Ave. and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza (Amtrak Station Building)

Cost: The event is free!

Dylan Hayward
Program Manager
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
4765 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625