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State

Durbin asks senators to support Ill. rail projects

CHICAGO – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said he’s urging a Senate committee to include several Illinois rail projects in upcoming legislation.

The Illinois Democrat said he’s written to members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Members are deciding what to include in the Amtrak and Rail Safety Reauthorization bill.

Durbin said Illinois deserves money because it has the second-largest rail network in the country.

He said one priority is the city of Springfield’s plan to consolidate freight and passenger lines along a corridor east of downtown as part of a Chicago-to-St. Louis high-speed rail project.

Springfield is seeking $14 million in federal grant money.

Durbin stressed the same issues when he met last week with Anthony Foxx, President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the nation’s next transportation secretary.

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