Chicago to St. Louis railway gets federal funds

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has made the money available to other states. It was not immediately clear if the new money for Illinois would come from that money that was turned down by Florida, but LaHood had originally said he would accept applications for the Florida money until Apr. 4.

Quinn has indicated he has does not share Scott's qualms about rail.

"We want to make this corridor the pre-eminent one in America. ...The key route is Chicago to St. Louis," he told reporters last week, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "We want to get Cubs fans down to Busch Stadium faster so they can see better results than they've seen in recent years."

In a statement Tuesday, he said the train would create 6,200 jobs.

“Bringing high-speed rail to Illinois has been a top priority of my administration because of the thousands of jobs and long-term investment it will bring to our state," Quinn said. "This important partnership with the Union Pacific Railroad and the Obama administration will boost our efforts to make Illinois the high-speed rail hub of the Midwest.”

Durbin agreed.

“High-speed rail is more than just an alternative mode of travel – it is a shot in the arm to today’s recovering economy, and an investment in infrastructure that will serve us for generations to come,” the senior senator from Illinois said in a statement. ”With Chicago as its hub, the Midwest high-speed rail network will create an estimated $23.1 billion in economic activity and create 6,000 jobs over the next ten years."

This story was posted at 2:32 p.m. and updated at 5:04 p.m.