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Report: Midwest firms could benefit from high-speed rail

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Travail personnel-Nicolas STAMBACH
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CHICAGO (AP) - An environmental policy group has identified hundreds of Midwest manufacturers that stand to benefit from the web of high-speed rail routes emerging from Chicago.

A report released Friday by the Environmental Law & Policy Center says 460 supply-chain manufacturers in seven Midwest states are poised to reap new business, along with a dozen highly visible companies that make rail cars and locomotives.

The supply-chain manufacturers make seats, couplers, bolts, ceiling panels, interior lighting and air horns. They also cut sheet metal, provide electronics and communications equipment, and supply track maintenance machinery.

The group's director, Howard Learner, says the report shows "the federal investment in high-speed rail modernization is good for manufacturing jobs, good for economic growth and good for the environment."

Critics say high-speed rail projects are expensive, taxpayer-subsidized boondoggles.

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