CHICAGO (AP) -- Eight states want stimulus funds for a network of high-speed trains with Chicago as its hub.
Governors from Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin have sent a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking for his support.
A first phase would upgrade passenger-train routes from Chicago to St. Louis, from Chicago to Madison, Wis., and from Chicago to Pontiac, Mich., via Detroit.
Officials say the cost of the initial phase would be around $3.5 billion and that it could be done by 2014.
A later phase would develop the St. Louis-to-Kansas City route.
A statement Wednesday from Missouri's governor doesn't specify how much of the $8 billion in the federal stimulus bill for high-speed rail the states will seek.