And business community leaders there, unlike the timid, partisan (R) weakings who call themselves movers-and-shakers here, do, too.
With a partnership - - !! - - as described by BizTimes.com, below.
I figure Talgo's rail car manufacturing plant still hiring in Milwaukee, but abandoned by the business community here to curry favor with Scott Walker, is as good as gone to Illinois, too, when Talgo shuts it down in 2012..
Illinois forms partnership to develop high-speed rail to St. Louis
Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the signing of the historic cooperative agreement by the federal government, state government, Union Pacific Railroad, and Amtrak as a crucial advance in the development of a planned high-speed passenger rail network that will serve Illinois and the Midwest region.
“ Clearly, the leadership, perseverance and commitment of Governor Quinn, Senator Durbin, and our private sector partners, has vaulted Illinois into the lead on the development of high-speed rail,” Hannig said. “This announcement is about more than just an historic achievement for Illinois and the Midwest. It is a celebration of the kind of partnership and vision that is creating jobs now and providing needed access to a crucial regional transportation alternative.”
In September 2010, Quinn announced that Illinois had become the first state in the nation to begin high-speed rail construction through an initial agreement to upgrade 90 miles of track between Alton and Lincoln. With the full Cooperative Agreement now in place, construction will continue in early spring from just south of Lincoln to Dwight. That phase of work is expected to conclude next fall.
“It’s a wonderful day for Illinoisans as we celebrate a milestone achievement towards becoming the first state in the nation to bring high-speed rail to fruition,” Quinn said. “We applaud the cooperation and hard work of all participating agencies to bring high-speed rail service, thousands of jobs, and economic growth to communities across the state.”
“I'm proud that Illinois continues to lead the country in its pursuit of high-speed rail service. This agreement marks one more milestone in our quest to make safe, reliable, high-speed rail service a reality in just a handful of years,” Durbin said. “I want to commend Governor Pat Quinn and IDOT Sec. Gary Hannig for their efforts to keep the Chicago-St. Louis corridor on track, while other states have fallen behind. The benefits of staying on deadline are great: as the project advances, more jobs will be created and, with each step, we’re closer to making Illinois more competitive in the 21st century global economy.”
“Congratulations to the State of Illinois, Union Pacific Railroad, and Amtrak,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. “This agreement will ensure a strong performance for the operation of high-speed passenger trains, while simultaneously protecting, preserving and improving our world-class rail freight system.”
"Our priority in working out this agreement was to protect Union Pacific's ability to provide the exceptional freight service our customers need and expect, while helping public agencies invest in improved passenger service," said Jim Young, Union Pacific chairman and chief executive officer. "This agreement allows us to deliver on those customer commitments."