A Transportation Network for the Future
With total yearly ridership estimated to be 13.6 million passengers in 2025, MWRRS will provide both a significant improvement in regional mobility (user benefits) and a large stimulus to the region’s economy (community benefits). The system provides an 80 percent economic return on investment and distributes benefits across the entire nine-state region.
In an environment of rising oil prices, MWRRS will offer an energy-efficient and cost-effective alternative to air and automobile travel that will connect businesses and individuals with cities and towns across the Midwest.
Studies project an overall economic benefit to the region of $23.1 billion, yielding nearly 80 percent returns on investment in Midwest high-speed rail. Development has always followed transportation. High-speed rail will kick start the development future of Midwest cities. Additionally, high-speed rail will make our region attractive to firms from around the world as they choose where to locate their operations. A city’s symbiotic relationship with rail will promote the economic viability of our downtown destinations.
Whether a metropolis or a small town, communities all over the region will benefit from having a stop in their city. Normal, IL serves as a model community of how a town of any size can take full advantage of their rail station to attract new investment. By planning a smart, pedestrian-friendly city center around the station, the Normal has attracted over $200 million in private investment within a half mile radius of the station.
Supporting the American Construction Industry
The first phase of the project includes removing and installing nearly 80 miles of new rail – from Pueblo, Co — and nearly 220,000 concrete ties — made in Grand Island, Neb. And Tucson, Ariz. Crews also will spread nearly 500,000 tons of rock ballast – Gads Hill, Mo., and Ironton, Mo. — to reinforce the roadbed, renew the roadway surfaces – fabricated in Omaha, Neb. — at 80 crossings and install 11 switches – with metal castings made in Decatur, Ill., and assembled in Cheyenne, Wyo.
Economic Benefit by Corridor
Economic benefit data for each of the MWRRI corridors.
||User Benefits||Community Benefits|
|9,570 new permanent jobs; $173 million of extra household income|
|24,200 new permanent jobs; $480 million of extra household income|
|4,540 new permanent jobs; $86 million of extra household income|
|1,000 new permanent jobs; $17 million of extra household income|
|6,970 new permanent jobs; $138 million of extra household income|
|1,570 new permanent jobs; $31 million of extra household income|
|5,600 new permanent jobs; $109 million of extra household income|
|480 new permanent jobs; $7 million of extra household income|
|3,520 new permanent jobs; $55 million of extra household income|
Development of the Midwest system will produce construction jobs for a generation as existing rail lines are upgraded and new rail lines are built. High-speed rail is expected to create an average of 15,200 jobs annually during the construction period, of which 6,000 are construction jobs. A Midwest system will create 57,000 permanent jobs throughout the region.
From suppliers to the final assembly line, we have the workforce to build high-speed trains in the Midwest. As the region recovers from the recession, workers will go back to work designing and building 21st Century locomotives and rail cars. A robust supply chain and a well trained workforce give the Midwest an advantage over other regions.
In addition to construction and manufacturing jobs, high-speed rail brings our exciting cities closer to one another making travel easy and affordable. Increased tourism will create employment opportunities for sites along the rail as well.
The Midwest high-speed rail system will give passengers an express pass to their destinations, allowing them to skip traffic jams and long trips to the airport. For those times when connecting to another mode of transportation is the goal, multi-modal stations will provide train riders a link to local public transportation, taxis, or car sharing service to cover the last leg of the trip. Not only will rail stations create convenient transfer points but it will attract new destinations and development within walking distance for visitors, providing them with a variety of options for getting where they want to go.
Population growth will increase the use of all modes of transportation in the future, adding congestion and delay. The Midwest Regional Rail System (MWRRS) can bring significant environmental benefits by providing a viable alternative to auto and air travel. Studies undertaken for several proposed high speed rail projects in the United States have shown the following environmental benefits compared with No-Build, and highway/airport alternatives:
- Decreased energy consumption
- Reduced air pollutant emissions and improved air quality
- Less land required compared to expanding existing highways and airports
- Opportunities for transit-oriented land use development
- Fewer environmental impacts on sensitive habitats and water resources (floodplains, streams, and wetlands) than highway/airport alternatives.