Indiana has received a $71.4-million grant for high-speed rail under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Overall, the Midwest received $2.6 billion of $8 billion the program distributed nationwide.

“By working across state and party lines, the Midwest showed unified support for this energy-efficient, modern form of transportation,” said Indiana Dept. of Transportation Commissioner Michael W. Reed. “Indiana’s much-needed award will attack the country’s most delay-prone rail corridor.”

More than $244 million was awarded to improve the efficiency and reliability of rail service for the priority route connecting Chicago and Detroit. Northwest Indiana’s $71.4-million allotment will build passing tracks, high-speed crossovers and signal-system improvements for the existing Norfolk Southern rail line between Porter, Ind., and the Illinois state line. A PDF copy of Indiana’s high-speed rail applications are at

Nine states are part of an ongoing effort to improve and expand the Midwest’s passenger rail system. The proposed system would provide 80- to 110-mile-per-hour rail service with shorter travel times, more frequent service, and better accessibility and reliability. Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska and Wisconsin are also in the alliance..