This thread is intended for discussion of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, otherwise known as the "Chicago Hub" network.
The Midwest High Speed Rail Association
- this non-profit organization has been advocating for high-speed rail in the Midwest for years, but only now are government officials taking notice. The MHSRA's proposed network is not identical with what Midwestern states are planning; but at some point in the future, many if not all of these rail linkages may be built in various forms and alignments.
The core of the plan is a network of rail lines, with top speed of 110mph, radiating out from downtown Chicago. Critics contend that 110mph is not fast enough to form an attractive service for travelers, so the MHSRA has launched a detailed study of a 220mph line connecting Chicago to St Louis. Illinois' government supports this idea and has begun various long-term planning efforts, including the formation of an Illinois High-Speed Rail Commission.
Official plans have been announced for 110mph lines connecting:
In more preliminary planning stages are 110mph lines connecting:
St Louis-Kansas City
In addition, several lines have been planned for normal Amtrak operation (79mph), but plans may be changed with an upgrade to 110mph. These are:
Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City
No definite information has been released on any of the lines serving Indiana, save for the Chicago-Detroit route, which passes through a corner of the state. Indiana has yet to decide how its cities will be connected to the network, but the state wants to establish routes to connect Chicago to Toledo, Columbus, and Louisville. Which Indiana cities those routes will serve is still up in the air.
So far, plans call for the Midwest network to use existing Amtrak cars and locomotives initially, with a gradual transition to Talgo rolling stock that can tilt, allowing for higher speeds through curves.