The U-S Transportation Secretary is in the region this week, talking to state and local officials about high-speed passenger rail service. Ray LaHood says Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska are in the mix for the $2.5 billion dollars that’s included in the second round of federal rail funding.
LaHood says part of the plan would be to bring high-speed rail through the Quad Cities to Iowa City, and then across Iowa to Nebraska. LaHood says it’s going to take at least two decades before the U-S is connected together by high-speed rail lines.
He says we’re at the point in this country where we were with the start of the interstate highway system, as “not all the lines were on the map and we didn’t know where all the money was coming from.” LaHood says with the railroads will come opportunities.
LaHood says there are foreign companies in America that want to find places to locate so they can hire U-S workers and build “train sets” and rail infrastructure. “High-speed intercity rail is coming to America,” LaHood said.
The secretary was in Des Moines, Iowa, speaking at the North American Super Corridor Coalition Conference.