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Mar 24

Written by: Greg Runyon
3/24/2009 8:43 AM 


Let me state right off the bat that I have no idea whether this idea I have is even worthwhile, much less feasible.  But it’s something that popped into my head, and even if it’s not quite right, maybe it will start some thinking that can actually turn into a billion-dollar idea.  Maybe somebody has already come up with this, and found it to be a non-starter.  But let me throw it out there anyway.


One thing this area really has going for it, in my opinion, is that it is almost smack-dab in the center of a wheel of cities that includes Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Omaha, and Kansas City.  It’s nearly equidistant from all of those.  My idea is to make the corridor the hub of a high-speed rail system that includes these cities.  I’ve already heard of discussions about running an Amtrak train from either the QuadCities or Iowa City to Chicago.  Why stop there?  Let’s get bold about this thing!


If you could get legitimate high-speed rail (like 125-150MPH), you could revolutionize the transportation between these cities, and have them all tied together via our wonderful area here.  Want to go from Minny to St. Lou?  You come through here.  Chicago to Omaha?  Same deal.  You get the point. 


One advantage of rail is that it typically originates and terminates in downtown areas.  No driving out to O’Hare, being subjected to the TSA, flying to Lambert, and then hopping a cab or renting a car to get to downtown St. Louis.  You hop on the train downtown in Chicago, and end up in downtown St. Louis.  Or, maybe you end up in the newly bustling Corridor.


Maybe there are reasons this is a dumb idea, or impossible, or even undesirable for our area.  I don’t have those answers.  I just have this nagging voice in my head telling me that this could be huge for the Corridor.  Someone here would have to take the lead, to ensure that this area is a player in this scheme, since one could link these cities and pretty much ignore our interests.


So there is the idea.  Now all we need is like $100 billion dollars to get this going.  I’m in for $20.  Anyone else?



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