On Friday, October 19th, right before the election, Governor Pat Quinn took Amtrak on a 15-mile trip.
From Dwight to Pontiac, I think.
The train went 111 miles per hour.
The problem is that a car can still drive from the Chicago area to Springfield faster than the train.
And the Governor can fly in one of the State’s fleet of planes, just like the influential Chicago legislators.
They won’t take the train.
During the 1970′s when I had a lot of time, I often took the train from Crystal Lake to Chicago and from Chicago to Springfield and back.
But it didn’t save me time. Didn’t save me money either, because the State reimbursed the cost of the train ticket.
The train looking like a bullet train, but it’s maximum speed was only 69 miles per hour, just like now on most of the route.
I’d look out the window and see cars passing the train.
After a stop in Joliet and Dwight and Pontiac and Normal and Lincoln, I’d see the same cars and trucks passing us again.
It’s going to be a long time–probably never–when someone from the Northwest, Western or Southwester suburbs is tempted into Amtrak to go to Springfield.
Except to the train riding experience maybe.
And, I’m bold enough to suggest that there are not a lot of regular travelers from Downtown Chicago to Downtown St. Louis.
Hey. It only is going to cost $4 billion.
That would build a lot of roads.