State and local officials gathered in Granite City on Monday to mark what they called a milestone in the effort to bring higher speed rail to Illinois.  The governor and local elected leaders joined with Union Pacific Railroad to celebrate the replacement of the final segment of track and ties in preparation for faster service between St. Louis and Chicago.

Democrat State Senator Bill Haine of Alton said the location of the final segment was significant:


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The St. Louis to Chicago higher speed rail project is on schedule to reduce the five and a half hour trip by 30 minutes at the end of 2015 and another 30 minutes by the end of 2017.   The trains will be able to run at 110 miles per hour once the entire project is complete. 


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