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Amtrak official to speak on future of high-speed rail initiative

James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor
(217) 244-1073;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Michael Franke, assistant vice president and program director of AmtrakÕs Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, will discuss the initiative at a talk at noon Feb. 8 in Room 3269 of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, 405 N. Mathews Ave., Urbana.

The talk is being sponsored by the U of I Railroad Engineering Program and is free and open to the public.

The Midwest Regional Rail Initiative is a proposed 3,000-mile, high-speed, passenger rail network serving Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The network will feature modern trains operating on improved rail lines at speeds up to 110 miles per hour, providing travelers with fast, efficient and frequent access to destinations throughout the Midwest.