Chicago – St. Louis High Speed Rail Project

The Chicago-St. Louis High Speed Rail Project is a ground-breaking project that will provide high-speed passenger rail service in the Chicago- St. Louis corridor at train speeds up to 110MPH. This $1.5 billion dollar project is being developed under a cooperative effort by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Union Pacific Railroad, and the Federal Railroad Administration.

Services Provided

Program / Project Management

As a member of the Illinois Department of Transportation Program Management Team, Quandel was responsible for oversight of the program and $1.5 billion in grant funds provided by the FRA. Quandel’s primary responsibilities included design coordination and oversight of the various agencies working under the program, including Union Pacific Railroad, Illinois Department of Transportation Rail and Highway Bureaus, program design consultants, as well as counties and local municipalities in the Chicago- St. Louis corridor.


As part of the planning effort for high-speed rail in the Chicago-St. Louis corridor, Quandel developed elements of the System Safety Program Plan in accordance with guidance published by the Federal Railroad Administration and American Public Transportation Association. Elements of the Plan included policy statements, scope, goals, objectives, system change management policy, and an internal safety management assessment.


Quandel designed horizontal track curvature in the 250-mile corridor to accommodate both freight trains and high-speed passenger trains. After the initial design was completed, Quandel performed a cost-benefit analysis to assess and compare the construction costs and impacts of additional track curvature improvements that will result in further increased train speeds and travel time saving.


Quandel assisted in the passenger train schedule refinement process by preparing stringline diagrams depicting train meets in single track territory in the 250-mile corridor. Quandel also modeled train speeds, acceleration, and deceleration using a train performance calculator, and used the model results to assist with the evaluation of track infrastructure and geometric improvements that would provide for increased speeds and travel time savings.

Construction Management

Quandel performed construction inspection oversight of the track and infrastructure improvements in the 250-mile corridor between Chicago and St. Louis as part of the Chicago- St. Louis high-speed rail project. Elements of this $1.5 billion dollar project include construction of new track and sidings, bridges, grade crossings, and signal systems.