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Weekly Newsletter: High-speed rail and Grow Illinois Transit

May 05, 2015

Last week, we announced the Grow Illinois Transit Campaign. Recent events have put rail services across the region in peril, and we’re stepping in to bring allies together and demonstrate support to the Governor and General Assembly while the budget is under discussion.  

With Grow Illinois Transit, we’re not just trying to prevent cuts that would hurt millions of people; we have our eyes on something much bigger. We love today's transit in it’s own right, and we see this as the next step to bringing an even better network that includes high-speed rail to the Midwest.

The fact is, the future of Midwest high-speed is inextricably linked with the health of Illinois transit:

  • The Chicago Hub: Any future Midwestern high-speed network would be centered around Chicago. Proposed cuts would delay new infrastructure to accommodate high-speed trains.
  • A Robust Feeder Network: A well-used high-speed network depends on feeder services. Cutting service – and potential ridership - would make high-speed rail less feasible.
  • Continued Investments: Illinois has been a leader in nationwide rail investments. Reduced service would make it unlikely that the state would focus on finding even greater levels of funding.
  • A Larger Constituency: Our greatest allies are communities that already depend on trains and transit. A reduction in service would weaken support for high-speed rail.

The proposed cuts to transit would have negative impacts that would be felt well into the future. High-speed rail could face a major setback. Decisions made in Springfield over the next few months will impact the entire region, and we need to guarantee we continue to move in the right direction.

All the best,

Julius Parod
Manager of Communications

Last Week at MHSRA:

MSHRA joined other allies at the Illinois State Capitol to stand up to transit cuts and announce the Grow Illinois Transit Campaign. Check out some of the coverage from the press conference:

The State Journal Register
Northern Public Radio
CBS St. Louis
Peoria Public Radio

250 Illinois transit supporters have already told their elected officials they want to grow, not cut transit. Join them at

We saw a great turnout of elected officials, business leaders, transportation advocates and other stakeholders at the Illinois Rail and Transit Summit in Springfield. Elected officials pictured below.

MSHRA staff passed out our newest postcard to members of the Illinois
House and Senate. If you’re interested in spreading the word about Grow
Illinois Transit, email Shira at to volunteer to
hand out materials.

MHSRA staff attended the IDOT listening session in Springfield, which featured Governor Bruce Rauner and Secretary of Transportation Randy Blankenhorn. Executive Director Rick Harnish advocated for direct Amtrak service to O’Hare Airport. Click here to attend a listening session near you.

On the Blog:

Flash!!!! Local couple takes train

Articles We Enjoyed:

Why can America have high-speed trains?
"Indeed, while these bullet trains may look futuristic, they have been around for decades; they're a tried and tested technology that the Japanese debuted over 50 years ago."

Illinois Senator’s View: Restoring rail service to Rockford should be a priority
“The election is over. I believe passenger rail, whether it's Amtrak or an alternative service, is far too important for northern Illinois to be sidetracked by ideology or partisan politics.”

‘Crossrail Effect’ Adds Steam to London Home Prices
CrossRail Chicago would have similar benefits.

Talking Transit: Why should Chicago focus growth near transit?
One of Chicago’s greatest assets is its transit network.

Why Great Transit Is Worth Loads of Money to Local Businesses
Reducing commutes is key to cutting employee turnover.

Eurostar debuts London to Marseille high-speed rail link

Upcoming Events:

IDOT is holding listening sessions across Illinois. Click here to find a location near you.

Train Day is coming to Chicago Union Station on May 9th. Come check out our booth! If you’d like to volunteer, email Shira at There are slots available from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM.

A donation of $15 or more today will go directly towards educating elected officials. Can you help us move forward in 2015?

Julius Parod
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
4765 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
Join today at