So far, $1.45 billion in contracts have been awarded for high-speed rail construction in Illinois, according to the state's department of transportation.
The goal is to have high-speed rail service between St. Louis and Chicago ready by 2015, with trains being able to travel up to 110 miles per hour for most of the route. The project is already in its fourth season, and current focus is on sidings and designing an automated control system.
While approximately half of the $1.45 billion that has already been awarded has gone toward rail and structural upgrades, an additional $211 million is being spent on rail cars and equipment.
Additional federal funds and assistance in expanding capacity at Chicago's Union Station are still desired by officials.
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