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Despite Obstacles, Plan Chugs Along for High-Speed Rail

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A multimillion-dollar effort to transform Main Street Station into a regional hub for high-speed rail inches forward, while questions linger about the project's feasibility.

City Council appropriated $937,576 in state-provided funds last week as part of the project — a redesign of the train shed that sits adjacent to Main Street Station and other capital improvements. The state money is a small part of the project's estimated $66.4 million price tag.

The project is moving forward despite other obstacles that make higher-speed rail increasingly unlikely in the near future. State officials say that $600 million would be needed to upgrade freight train lines from Petersburg to downtown to turn Main Street Station into a rail hub.

Project Manager Viktoria Badger says renovations to the train shed are expected to be completed by 2012.

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