Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn last week announced a state partnership with the University of Illinois and a special advisory group to study the feasibility of high-speed rail service between Chicago and Champaign-Urbana and possibly to other parts of the state and neighboring cities.

The study will complement the ongoing construction of a regional network connecting Chicago to 40 cities in the Midwest that has won federal funding assistance.

“This study will provide greater insight into how we can make 220-mph rail service a reality,” Quinn said in a statement. “An expanded and improved rail network will boost our position in the global economy and create thousands of jobs.”

The study will explore the potential costs and benefits of establishing 220-mph service between O’Hare International Airport, downtown Chicago, McCormick Place Convention Center, and Champaign-Urbana, home of the flagship state university. It will also look at extending the corridor in the region to cities south of the university, including St. Louis, as well as Indianapolis.

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