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updated: 3/22/2013 8:43 AM

Illinois to lead 5-state high-speed locomotive buy

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Associated Press

The Federal Railroad Administration has chosen Illinois to lead a group of five states hoping to buy high-speed rail locomotives for more than $800 million.

Gov. Pat Quinn made the announcement Thursday. The Illinois Department of Transportation will obtain the next-generation diesel locomotives on behalf of five states: Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri and Washington. The money allotted will pay for 35 new locomotives and 130 bi-level rail cars.

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IDOT will manage and oversee the procurement process.

About $1.5 billion in improvements to the rail line between Chicago and St. Louis are expected to enable speeds of 110 mph over 70 percent of the route by 2015.

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