Connecting the Great Lakes to the Northeast Corridor
Announcing Formation of the
New York & Chicago Railroad
Enterprising Chicago high speed rail advocates are announcing formation of a project to build a 220 mph line connecting Chicago to New York, and other cities located on the Northeast Corridor. They are recruiting individuals from across the transportation community to develop plans, specifications, and secure private/public funding for this project. While they are supportive of associations that foster passenger train travel, or short local high speed lines within a state, the two prefer to focus instead on getting down to building a real railroad in the way that hasn't been seen in a over a hundred years.
Charles Paidock, one of the organizers said: “Putting little high speed lines here and there is ok, but all you’re actually doing is just putting in another commuter line, and improving public transit. And I’ve seen all sorts of plans for regional networks, but nobody except us apparently has a map of the United States. It only makes sense to have a route connecting these two major metropolitan areas.”
The construction of a railroad from New York, to Pittsburgh, and then on to Chicago was actually proposed in 1907. Approval was granted for construction, but there was an economic panic later that year, and the start of World War I made financing the project doubtful, so it never was built. The two largest railroads in the United States at the time, the Pennsylvania and the New York Central, later ran competing passenger trains along different routes between New York and Chicago, attracting sizeable numbers of passengers, until the advent of superhighways and airlines.
Another organizer added: “We can offer travel times equivalent to airlines. I also would like to emphasize that the railroad is to be electrified it’s entire length, and using off-the-shelf technology presently found elsewhere in the world. This isn’t an experiment. And keep in mind that America presently has a 97% oil-reliant transportation system. True electric HSR, when applied properly, is a superior substitute for gas guzzling, polluting airplanes.”
The group has prepared a powerpoint presentation and will be a presenting progras to enlisit support, beginning in the Chicago metropolitan area. Other events are planned to recruit and solicit support, including distribution of literature at National Train Day on May 7th at Union Station. This will be followed with a week of meetings with various Congressional senators and representatives, whose districts are along the proposed route, the following week in Washington, D.C.