Not so fast, opponents say of rail service -

Not so fast, opponents say of rail service

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second of three parts on progress in getting high-speed railroad service in Illinois.

Some train supporters are slow to jump on high-speed rail service.

"I am an Amtrak rider but an opponent of high-speed rail," Illinois Policy Institute Executive Vice President Kristina Rasmussen said. "While it sounds like a nice program, it is full of false promises. I don't think our side is being heard very much: that it will not be cost-effective or energy-efficient or that it will not help reduce congestion, not to mention that high-speed rail will be horrendous for Illinois taxpayers when we are facing an $11 billion budget deficit."

Proponents of trains envisioned at going 110 mph or even twice that fast on certain corridors, tout the service as a means to reduce dependence on foreign oil, lower carbon emissions, foster economic development and give travelers more choices.

The Illinois Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research organization that supports free market principles and liberty-based public policy initiatives, released a report July 9, "Taking Illinoisans for a Ride." It was compiled and written by Randall O'Toole, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute, a nonprofit public policy research foundation in Washington, D.C.

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