The plan calls for a high speed rail system to be installed connecting Chicago and St. Louis. The trains involved could travel at speeds up to 110 miles per hour.
The construction of this system would provide a good amount of jobs, but that’s about where the positives end. Sure it would be neat to be able to take a train to St Louis in under three hours, but how often is that going to be utilized to make it viable? That’s still quite the commute if they think anybody is going to get a job in the other city. Beyond that, it’s mostly recreational travel. How often is this going to be used for it to make any money? Is a one way ticket going to cost more than a plane ticket?
The cost to build this is astronomical. Land all the way is going to have to be purchased and cleared before the expensive rails are laid down.
The rails for these trains have to be extremely precise to allow such fast travel. They’re going to need to be protected from vandalism to prevent a catastrophic crash. Freight rails just need to be there and be heavy. Sure your average Amtrak train can travel down the high speed rails, but that isn’t very efficient for them. For this to even come close to working long term, the high speed cars are going to need a separate line all the way to both points. The rails cost 10-12 times more than traditional lines. Rolling this network out nationally would cost more than half of a trillion dollars.
That’s just some of the problems on a larger scale. Locally, adding another rail line through the towns here will just increase traffic. The plan now calls for a side track to be added between Rt 113 and Coal City for the slower trains to get out of the way for the high speed trains. They’ll have to jump over to the side track, wait for the high speed trains to pass, then slowly build back their speed, as we all sit in our cars and wait. We don’t even have a depot here for it to be useful to us.
From the official website “The public will get first glimpse of 110 mph passenger service between Dwight & Pontiac as early as 2012.” Oh great, I bet the people of Dwight are really itching to shave 10 minutes off that trip, not including travel time to the train, buying your ticket, boarding, etc. Then once you get to Pontiac you don’t have your car so how are you going to get around?