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A report from the PBS program Need to Know looks at the fight over expanding passenger rail, with a focus on Wisconsin and Illinois.
While Wisconsin’s and Ohio’s rejection of federal money for high-speed rail projects is old news, the discussion is far from over.
Reporter Rick Karr talks to Kevin Conroy, a Madison businessman who regularly has to make trips to Milwaukee. The rail service, he says, would not only spare him having to traverse occasionally dangerous highways in winter, it would allow him to get work done rather “kill a whole day” behind the wheel of a car.
The story contrasts Wisconsin with Illinois, where the promise of improved rail service is already bringing economic development to towns like Normal, about 100 miles from Chicago.
“We’ll show them,” says Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. “It’s important to be fast – we’ve got to run, not walk, to the future. And part of the future is high-speed rail.”