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MEDIA RELEASE: Elected Officials, Transit Advocates to demonstrate support for Amtrak, Metra and CTA at Illinois Railroad Summit

February 12, 2015

Media Release

Contact: Julius Parod

Phone: 773-334-6758


Elected Officials, Transit Advocates to demonstrate support for Amtrak, Metra and CTA at Illinois Railroad Summit in Springfield, IL on April 29th.

CHICAGO (March 12, 2015) – The Midwest High Speed Rail Association (MHSRA) will host the Illinois Railroad Summit on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at the President Abraham Lincoln DoubleTree Hotel in Springfield, IL from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The lunch event will feature speeches and panel discussions by mayors, economic development officials and other stakeholders from across Illinois.

“With proposed budget cuts to Amtrak, Metra and CTA, the Summit will be a great opportunity for participants to show support for train services their communities depend on,” said MHSRA Executive Director Richard Harnish. Harnish added that, “We look forward to hearing community leaders from across Illinois express why passenger trains are important to the people they serve.”

This year has seen already-funded Amtrak service from Chicago to Rockford put on hold and a proposed 40% cut in Amtrak funding. Proposed
projects like a O'Hare Airport-Union Station-McCormick Place Express train, faster, more frequent Metra service and a Chicago-East St. Louis/Indianapolis high-speed rail connection need further investments to move forward. The Summit will feature a discussion of how to build off of recent successes in Illinois, like Chicago-St. Louis 110mph service, to meet the growing demand for train travel.

At the Illinois Railroad Summit, attendees will be able to:
•    Coordinate with allies from across the state.
•    Learn more about the status of current and proposed train projects.
•    Demonstrate their support for passenger trains at a high-visibility event.

The official agenda and roster of speakers will be announced within the next couple of weeks. Learn more here.

The Midwest High Speed Rail Association is one of the nation’s leading organizations advocating for fast, frequent and dependable trains linking the entire Midwest. Executive Director Richard Harnish is a nationally recognized expert on passenger rail issues and is often quoted in the media.

For more information about MHSRA or the Illinois Railroad Summit, or to request an interview with Richard Harnish, please contact MSHRA's office at 773-334-6758.

Julius Parod
Manager of Communications
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
4765 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
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