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   CHICAGO (AP) - A group of states forging ahead with plans for high-speed passenger rail have put out a call for bids for the production of 35 next-generation locomotives.

   The request for proposals released Thursday calls for lighter, cleaner-burning locomotives that can reach speeds of up to 125 miles per hour.

   Illinois is leading the procurement. The other states taking part are California, Michigan, Missouri and Washington.

   The Federal Railroad Administration has allocated $808 million for the new locomotives and for the construction of 130 bi-level passenger cars.

   Those cars will be built at a new plant in Rochelle, Ill., by the American subsidiary of Nippon Sharyo, the company that built Japan's bullet train.

   Illinois is working on 110-mph service on routes from Chicago to Detroit and Chicago to St. Louis.

 

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